Strong Minds Run Club is an empowerment program for children of all fitness levels. We transform traditional running games and drills into powerful bit-sized life lessons. Parents know when their children are with us, they are getting a great workout AND building strength of character.
Every child is able to compete and reach the goals they once thought were beyond them. We work with children of all fitness levels, and have learned fun and active tools to harness self confidence. The eight core empowerment principles create a unique and powerful curriculum. One which combines physical health with strength of character.
But if running is your child’s sport of choice, there’s no clear-cut answer when it comes to what’s the right age to give it a go.
The good news, according to Gary Calabrese, DPT, Senior Director of Sports Therapy, is that if your child is the one excited and asking (or begging) to run, let them. Just keep a few general safety guidelines:
- Running should be fun. The most important factor is that the child shows their own enthusiasm and motivation to run or participate in a race. Never force a child to do any sort of strenuous physical activity for an extended amount of time (Sorry, kids, gym class and mowing the lawn don’t count!)
- Good technique and form is crucial. The younger the child, the stronger the emphasis should be on form and technique. Consider getting your child’s form evaluated by a professional and seek out a pediatric visit with a sports medicine physician to be cleared for fitness first. This is essential for preventing injury, especially if they continue with running into their teen years.
- The younger the child, the shorter the distance should be. Fitness level and physical development are two factors parents should think about if their child wants to run. The younger the child, the more rapid the growth spurts are and the more the child needs to recover.
- There’s no one-size-fits-all running program for children. Adult 5K training plans aren’t typically meant for children, so super-structured activity can have a negative impact on a child’s normal growth pattern. There should be a combination of regular activity (like playing other sports and with other children) and running. Children aren’t adults, so don’t expect them to keep an adult training schedule.
How we talk about ourselves defines who we are.
We are what we think.
We can do together what we cannot do alone.
Setbacks are welcome as an opportunity to grow.
We dare to believe anything is possible.
We do the right thing even when no one is watching.
We exist in relation to others.
A finish line is just the beginning of a new journey.