Last month I was invited to sit in on a call with Texas Children’s about long term athletic development.
It’s a fun project that lets me share my experience and work with friends.
Previous post on Raising Young Olympians.
I want to highlight three things “missing” from the LTAD literature.
All three are a focus for me.
EARLY positive athletic experiences
I’m on board with late-specialization.
Find, then stick with, something long enough to have a positive experience.
A positive experience matters more than the skill development.
In the kid’s mind, you want a link “effort with satisfaction”.
Relaxation at MAXIMUM heart rate
The look on my kids faces the first time I brought them to treeline still makes me laugh!
It was a literal fear of death.
High-performance requires the athlete to move through their fear of death.
Like water, the earlier you get your kids feeling comfortable with “race effort” the better.
They don’t need to be throwing down weekly!
We stick with summer racing until middle-school age.
RACING is a skill
In the development profile you’re building for your kids…
…race experience is important.
- Field Strength
- Arousal Control
- Grace in Defeat
- Grace in Victory
- Learning different ways to win
- Learning to persist and achieve secondary goals
Bonus tip – not for everyone!
If you read Training for the Uphill Athlete (my review on Twitter) then you’ll learn that Kilian Jornet had an ultra-childhood.
If you happen to have a kid that’s into going long…
My son has been building his endurance physiology since 3 years old.
His progression is WAY faster than I’d recommend for anyone else’s kid, or even his siblings.
However, it’s not my job to define his dreams…
…and he’s a really good training partner!