We spent June working on agility. What is agility? Your kid may tell you it is our ability to move our feet quickly, and that sure is a component but it is just a piece of the puzzle.
Agility: The ability to quickly and efficiently move and change direction
To begin working on our footwork we used the agility ladder and the crowd favorite, banana steps, which are essentially just small speed hurdles. Beginning with just one foot in each box we tried to learn to move our feet as fast as possible and minimize mistakes. Progressing to hopping, skipping a box, and lateral bounds the athletes began to incorporate change of direction. It was easy to tell when it was time to take a break because we would have to pick up the hurdles after each unsuccessful jump, but a quick water break and new exercise always did the trick. As always at EP4Kids, we didn't waste time either. During our breaks we would practice diaphragmatic breathing and discussed some cool down strategies. It was also a good time to remind the kids that getting tired is perfectly ok while exercising (and I'm sure the parents don't mind either).
We are really starting to see some great improvement in the overall athleticism of our kids. As we move forward we are going to begin incorporating our new found foot work with hand-eye coordination as the kids are asked to complete obstacle runs including the hurdles and ladder while also catching a ball at the same time. This could get a bit messy but it will definitely be fun. Quiz your little athletes on what we are learning... ask them about power, balance, intensity, or demonstrate a specific exercise like mountain climbers, burpees, push ups, jumping jacks, or deep squats.
Be sure to keep an eye on the Engineered Per4mance blog as well. Look for one coming up pertaining to long term athletic development and why early sport specialization in kids is counterproductive. You may pick up some great healthy tips to keep yourself feeling, looking, and performing your best as well!