The Fall season is here!!
As a physical education vendor, we not only are making sure that we care for the cognitive part of the child but also the physical development of the child. In our meetings we have covered a lot of issues that will help up be great coaches in the light of emotional and mental connection. In the next few weeks I will write a little bit about what we can and should look for in physical development in our classes.
What is one of the biggest advantages that we have being a soccer program? “We use our feet, and not our hands” 🙂 This is huge because we are teaching young children complex motor skills. We are able to teach balance, body control, and movement patterns without having to trick them with cones, ladders, hurdles, and other unique tools. The game of soccer does this for us.
Why this is important:
We have access to children before the start of their true coordination patterns. When children start to walk, they don’t develop a gait until about 6months after taking very first steps. Between the ages of 1-3; they will go from taking large steps to balance –> taking smaller steps –> walking with their hands to their sides –> to moving backwards without falling –> to throwing and walking with multiple objects (toys, balls, etc) –> climbing –> to running –> jumping –> something called motor mirroring (e.g. drop kicking a ball)
[Children don’t develop true coordination patterns until the age of 6, then the course of major development and concrete movement continues until age 14.]
Things that we can do to help:
- Make sure our warm-ups and games include movements in all directions, specially backwards!
- Everything is new to their bodies, and they don’t know what is possible, so challenge them to try things they are uncomfortable with.
- Don’t forget about their hands, always include something with their hands. I know this is Soccer, but this will be the ONLY atmosphere in which they will be incorporating complex motor skills with their feet. If we can get theirs brains to connect the patterns come full circle, we have done them a great service. This is why drop kicking a ball is hard or near impossible for some of them. That is the exact phase of development they are in, the mirroring I spoke about earlier.
United States of America Track and Field (USATF); Level 1 Certified
AmercianSports Educational Program (ASEP); Track Certified
American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM); Certified Trainer (2008-2011)
United States Sports Academy (USSA ); Strength Certified