Dear Coach Ed,|
My seven year old runs flat footed. Do you have any tips or drills that will help him run with the proper technique?
D in Texas
If your child keeps running, the flat footed stride usually corrects itself because the child naturally develops a more efficient stride. If a child likes to run and compete, these are drills they should be doing anyway. The drills for proper technique are fast running in place and short quick sprints. Fast running in place: Start off jogging slow for 10 seconds, then add in proper arm movement for 10 seconds, then a little higher leg action for 5 seconds, and finally as fast as your legs and arms can pump for 5 to 10 seconds while still maintaining form. Repeat 3 to 5 times.
To make that fun, do it to music, do it with him or her, or with some friends. Short quick sprints: Run as fast as you can while still keeping good form for 25 meters. Repeat 3 to 5 times. Again make it fun.
Do it with friends, parents too, and do it backwards sometimes.
At seven years old I would not be overly concerned about footstrike. Kids develop a stride that is efficient for them over the years. Efficient is both easier and faster. That's exactly what they want so that's exactly what they will develop. Give it time.
Ed Poirier, "Coach Ed", recently was invited by the United States Olympic
committee to attend a workshop and training seminar at the Olympic training
center in California.
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