Active children often turn into active adolescents, and many teens find that they have a talent for athletics.
Whether they can run fast, jump high or throw far, their abilities should be encouraged.
Other teens may find that they’ve never paid attention to the time on a stopwatch or a formal measurement, they just enjoy participating, and these teens should be given the opportunity to further their skills as well.
Read on for more information about making the most of your teen’s love of the track.
Athletics is a three-part sport, combining:
- Running, including sprints, middle and long distance, as well as hurdles and the steeplechase.
- Jumping, including the high jump, long jump and triple jump.
- Throwing, such as the javelin, discus, shot-put and sometimes the hammer throw.
Some people may include cross country running as an athletics discipline, but because it takes place over a field course, rather than on or around the track, it should technically be considered a different sport.
History of Athletics
Throughout history, and even in mythology, foot races have existed as a means of testing physical fitness. The addition of jumping and throwing was a natural outgrowth of these competitions.
Athletics has been a part of organised sport since the Olympic games of Ancient Greece. They have been a part of the modern Olympics since the 1896 games in Athens, although women’s events were not added until 1924.
In the 20th century large prize purses were added to many Grand Prix events, and today the world’s best athletes can make their living simply from competing.
Benefits of Athletics
All children and adolescents benefit from an active lifestyle, and the benefits of athletics are many:
- Athletics provides a great aerobic workout.
- Coordination is sharpened through throwing and jumping.
- Socialising with other athletes and being part of a team delights teens.
- Learning discipline through training is an important athletics lesson.
- Learning about proper nutrition and lifestyle choices is important for teens.
- Time spent outdoors, away from sedentary pursuits, will keep your teen healthy.
- Understanding the meaning of sportsmanship will build your teen’s character.
- Athletics can become the basis for a healthy lifestyle and attitude in your teen.
Tips for Teen Training
Teens in athletic training may well lose their way. With so many fad diets, unhealthy options and peer pressure around, any teen could use a sensible adult to help them with their training. Remind your teen that:
- Daily, obsessive training is unhealthy.
- A balanced diet is the basis of any training regime.
- Cigarettes and alcohol will undermine their training.
- Performance enhancing drugs are illegal and banned.
- Eight hours of sleep are a requirement for an active lifestyle.
- Every competition and training session can not be their best, and accepting defeat is part of playing the game.
- You will always love them and be proud of them, no matter their results.
Finding the right team or training for your teen may seem confusing, but there are many organisations available to help, just try searching on the Internet.