Dear Carol, Sincerely,
My daughter was crying after school today. She is ten and has always
one of the slower runners during laps in soccer practice. I was
disappointed that she told me they are having sign-ups for cross
country/track intermurals at school and the teacher told the students
if they aren't fast or have a lot of endurance they should not sign up
because their team has won each year and they want to win again. Can
imagine that?? I was floored at that age that they are being selective
instead of asking for everyone who enjoys it, regardless of talent.
My daughter is tall, however, all of her height is in her upper body.
has a long torso and short legs, so people (including my daughter,
think because her overall height is tall, she should be faster. Sadly,
really enjoys running and tries hard. She wants to be faster and have
greater endurance but it just doesn't seem to come. Is there something
can do to improve both? Is it just basically running each day and
a couple of times a week? How much, how long, and how many days are
necessary to see improvement. I want her to feel successful but don't
her to feel it is a burden, either. Thanks for the input.
T.T., Run for a lifetime,
I certainly can sympathize with you. It is a shame that your daughter
welcomed on the team and allowed to participate. I don't like this
attitude for a school team of 10 year olds. I would think that they
still include the 'slower' kids, help them become better runners, and
them compete sometimes.
Also, it is important that your daughter learns to love running as a
lifelong sport, in which she competes with herself, and sets her own
No matter what, she should still be encouraged to run, even if she runs
home or with a parent.
Certainly there are drills that can make a runner faster, but I'd think
she has probably already gotten plenty of sprinting practice in soccer.
Please keep me posted, and maybe you could conference with the teacher
is running this XC program.
BTW, tall doesn't necessarily equate to fast. Many of our better
are short as compared to athletes in other sports.
How are teams for younger kids handled at your school? Please let us know.
Feel free to email the kid's editor at firstname.lastname@example.org.