Junior runner dilema!! HELP

U13 and 5k

41 to 57 of 57 messages
10/02/2010 at 19:21

I don't  need to know about your children. Your children are not the problem... It's you!

You've already stated in a previous post, your track targets for this summer. Quoting TT times, and other positions in races like she's some kind of trophy. This isn't a parent that has solely the childs interest at heart.

Angry?...Nah, I know the game you're playing better than you do. I've seen the results of it.

I've been on this forum for a while now, and have very rarely quoted my childrens achievements in running. They are exceptional, but I don't feel the need to quote them on here.

You've posted 10 times, and everyone is about your child!...You are so transparent to me.

Read Lydiard, Daniels . These are/were adult coaches. Children should not be trained like adults!

10/02/2010 at 19:33
"All WE want is for her to give her all" - that sounds like pushy parenting to me.
10/02/2010 at 22:47

Your interpretation, Vicky, is understandable, but incorrect in this situation. Many people, adults and kids, suffer the common syndrome "holding back...working within themselves...fear of failure/succes." I have seen my kids happy--they are happiest when they've laid themselves on the line and achieved something worthwhile, viz., laying themselves on the line. That is what my quoted words intend. I want, like most parents, to see my kids happy. Rudyard Kipling's "If" spring to mind, Herman Hesse's indictment of "the brood of medicrity" etc.

10/02/2010 at 23:30

"laying themselves on the line"...

We are talking about an 8, 10 and a 12yr old!

10/02/2010 at 23:55

So what is "something worthwhile"? Is it competing or winning?

Do you not think what you convery to them, e.g. about things like "mediocrity", has a significant bearing on their version of "worthwhile"??

Who tells your kids what is worthwhile? Is it you? It seems your  version of worthwile is not to be mediocre... Wwhat happens if one of your kids turns out to be "mediocre"?

JM probably has, like me not that I'm significantly old, encountered attitudes like yours through coaching kids. I always recall one particular pushy parent from coaching football. While myself and a friend, at 25 years old, had a free kick competition for fun this parent had his 7 year old child go through a series of coaching drills. I didn't know them at this stage but I coached the same child 3 years later. Each time he got the ball and made a mistake the parent called the child over and shouted at him.

Wwhere's the fun in that? Your attitude reminds me very much so of this...

11/02/2010 at 00:08

11/02/2010 at 00:41

The UKA minimum age rules are, to be frank, total nonsense. They are appropriate for someone who has never run before but for any sort of a trained athlete, they verge on the ridiculous. They ended up having to change quite a few when Emily Pidgeon started going through the age groups - she won the Euro U20 trials at 12 - and was then repeatedly told that she couldn't enter 3000m track races whereupon her family sued UKA and they had to give in. 

Had a 15 nearly 16 year old lad wanting to do some 5ks this December. He's a pretty reasonable runner, slightly under-developed for his age -  28:21 for 5 miles over the summer and he'll run much faster soon - told he couldn't do them as UKA had advised them they shouldn't have anyone under 17 running - absolutely ridiculous.

The UK's LTAD programme is based on a very odd model which got sold as a multi-sport development to Sport England with very little scientific basis to it in the slightest.

Objectively - having run both 1500 and longer road races at a fairly amateur level I'd be much more worried about kids running 1500 - much more painful.Similarly it seems ridiculous that for any "older" athlete running less than about 30 MPW who wants to do speedwork they'd be told to "build up a bigger base" and make sure they're ready to run fast. At the same time coaches take kids who know very little about exactly what their body can take and have them doing repeat flat out 400s with no aerobic background or muscle conditioning at all...

It never ceases to amaze me how when "running" is mentioned parents are instantly worried about stress fractures etc. whilst playing rugby/hockey/football with a relatively decent chance of picking up a seriously broken bone is absolutely fine at any age...

FWIW- I ran my first 10k age 8 in 61:42. Now 22 about to run my first marathon at London. Bit quicker over 10k now than when I started.

11/02/2010 at 09:57

HH....Most local 5K races have an age restriction of 14yrs old. One of our local X-country series has a 14yr old limit too (one race everyone starts together, men and women), and that is raced over 4-5miles!

I know you have a certain agenda regards club youth athletics. It didn't work for you. There's no need to spread your shite! If there weren't restrictions, some idiotic parents would have their kids running a marathon at 12yrs old!

Kids don't want to plod out 30m/week. It's boring to them. They love running fast, the problem occurs when they are over stressed and pushed too hard. Parents expecting them to perform or win every race. The idea is to keep kids in athletics not put them off it!

It's funny you should mention the Pidgeons. If my memory serves me correct., these are the parents that contacted the organisers and suggested they give Emily the gold medal for a certain biggish race. She couldn't make to the race for some ridiculous reason, but they still thought she should've been awarded the gold medal, because in their eyes she was 'the best'!...Pathetic!

11/02/2010 at 10:00
Last year she would have ranked 14th in the UK on powerof10! (Sorry if this has already been mentioned, I don't have time to read through the thread)
11/02/2010 at 12:54

While I'm not sure it's best for kids to be trained by their parents, I do roll my eyes at all the people going into a panic whenever someone young trains fairly hard and wants to compete.

Since when is that a problem?
I was a member of a football club from the age of 5 (you had to be 6, but my older brother went and I was there every practice session anyway so got to join too a bit earlier)
From 12yo I went to a school (selected for academic reasons) where 1hour sports was mandatory for every pupil every school day.
By then I had switched sports to volleyball and in addition to those 5 hours sports I also had 1 training session with the school volleyball and handball teams each. And I was a member of a volley club with 2 training sessions a week and a game. From age 16 I trained once with the youth team, twice with the adult team and played games with both the youth team and the adult reserves on weekends.

Yes, you may get the odd overuse injury, but have you ever seen anyone competing at national level who never had an overuse injury by the time they're 18
It's how you deal with it when it happens that matters.

My father was a national level player and national level volley coach and a touch pushy too (I can't recall a plain 'Good game' without some analysis of possible improvements), but that's not a problem if you're enjoying yourself. I do think it might have been difficult to have him as a coach though, but that never happened.

Bottom line, I get annoyed with all this 'no competition, don't train too hard, it's has to be fun' crap.
Kids absolutely love to compete, just keep an eye on some kids on the playground. Before you know it they're organising 'races' amoung themselves.
Training hard with a bunch of mates is a lot of fun and great bonding too.

I enjoyed competitive sport from about 6yo for the next 20 years and now when I get a bit of decent training in I feel the competitive juices flowing again, good times.
Competing IS fun.

Sometimes this forum seems so intent on making sure running is a pastime and not a sport it's outrageous.

Edited: 11/02/2010 at 12:57
seren nos    pirate
11/02/2010 at 13:03

While I'm not sure it's best for kids to be trained by their parents, I do roll my eyes at all the people going into a panic whenever someone young trains fairly hard and wants to compete.

I agree with that but kids don't always know when to stop and when to ease off and as for all things they rely on adults to reign them in when they go too far.........and the other problem is that when the parents are too closely involved....quite often the kids are competing to try and win the parents approval or becasue the parents want them to be the best rather than being driven themselves.

young kids want to please their parents so much and if the only way they can get that approval is to push themselves hard every time then they will whether they want tio or not...............if a coach is pushing too hard or fast for the kids good then the parents can step in.If they are the same person then there is a problem

11/02/2010 at 13:26

Really not sure what you're going on about an agenda Jokerman - I ran in the club youth system as soon as I could get my parents to drive me to the local club, enjoyed it, still have my EYAL T-shirts had a great training group and stayed with the club. I'm not totally convinced it was the best thing for me in terms of developing as a distance runner but I've certainly got no complaints. Just more misinformed nonsense from you?

 What I do know is that there are a lot of poor "coaches" (and I use this term very loosely) out there who like you have a cookie-cutter approach. Yes there are kids who love doing just speed work but there are also a lot for whom a very different approach involving more miles will be much more succesful and it's usually these youngsters who will actually end up runners as it's the athletes who enjoy putting in the miles that end up at the top. I think you have a real naivete in this regard.

Pidgeon's parents might be slightly crazy but at the end of the day you've got a girl who isn't running at the same level but enjoys the sport a great deal and enjoys running for her, not for anyone else, she's grown up pretty damn well. If you're looking for the "controlling" and "pushy" influence there- the parents weren't superb by all accounts but the main culprit was the club coach - who ended up being suspended from all coaching activity. Unfairly in my mind but still shows that you can't just rely on a club coach having the kid's best interests at heart.

What you might learn at some point is that it's not a case of "plodding" 30 miles a week on your own, if that's what you do then I'm not surprised you find it dull, but heading out with a group of mates on a nice aerobic run chatting and bantering away -times flies and you can actually learn to love running. That's  what I'd prefer the kids to do.

Edited: 11/02/2010 at 13:38
11/02/2010 at 15:02

Imski..Kids need to be enjoying their activity. If they aren't they will drop it as soon as they escape their pushy parent. Don't confuse me with 'it's all fun'. The fun comes with kids hooking up with mates, training hard and seeing the benefits of that training. I totally agree with you there.

I personally would make it illegal for any parent to coach their own child. The coach and parent relationship is or should be seperate. For every success story (Coe), there will be a countless number of unsuccessful stories, and scarred children. I run with my kids occasionally, I advise them. I don't coach them.

HH...Don't accuse me of a 'cookie cutter' approach. You haven't a clue about my philosophy regards running. I am a firm believer in the aerobic progression from a young age. I grew up in the 70/80s where everyone was out there playing/running for 8hrs/day! The difference was, when we got tired we sat down. We didn't have some parent/coach forcing us to do more. I do think some coaches are obsessed with hard track sessions, before the child has developed physically.

Pubescent kids (11- 16 yr olds) running highish mileage is a very dangerous precedent. Before you start quoting me East African athletes (I've read more stuff on these than I care to mention) it is not fully understood yet the complications of their childhood. We only get to hear about the success stories!

 Gebrsellasie is well known to have run alot from a young age (school/back). Tergat didn't take 'proper' running up until he was 18yrs old. They both reached an almost identical level!

There's an article about this subject in Feb 11th Athletics Weekly. For anyone interested in young endurance athletes, they should read it.

11/02/2010 at 18:46

I did gymnastics about 4 times a week from the age of 8 to 16 and took part in competitions.  I was never amongst the best but I was really happy doing the sport, and while my parents always ferried me round to training classes, they never once pushed me.  There's a difference between competing at that age and feeling like you have to win or 'lay yourself on the line' to try and win.

Edited: 11/02/2010 at 18:47
11/02/2010 at 22:50
I agree Vicky. Are you still as flexible?
12/01/2013 at 16:59

interesting topic 

not all coaches are good coaches 

all kids develop at different stages some kids can run loads 5k is not far at all

the kenyan's run alot further at a young age

parents do need to be involved but listen to your kids

and check out the coaches credentials

most important the have to be happy 

14/01/2013 at 00:14

Call this one wrong and your child may well have a lifelong belief that they are a failure even though they are really very very good. 'You did very well, did you enjoy it, do you want to have another race sometime' is what it should be at that age - no training, no coaches just a feel good thing. By the time they are 20 there is no difference between the chid who started proper training at 12 and the child who started running at 16.

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