During this stage of your child's life (8-12 years old pre-growth spurt) children are ready to learn and refine their general health and skill-related components of fitness that they need for: athletic development, participation in sport, or for lifetime fitness.
I don't believe in allowing a child to specialize in one sport or activity too soon since it has a harmful effect on later: skill development, leads to injury, and burnout later on in life. Encourage your child to play or participate in at least three different sports and/or individual activities 45-60 minutes a day, 5-6 days a week. Since we don't meet very often for PE classes, it's extremely important for outside participation to be accomplished. I am allowing PE activity to be recorded on the logs now to help you out with this participation process.
Your child's overall fitness log evaluation assessment is based of three component areas: First, is your child participating in 3-5 different activity types per week? They are: Lifestyle (LA), Aerobic (AA), Muscular (MA), Flexibility (FA), and Aerobic Sport (AS). I've provided examples on the log to help you better understand these activity types. Secondly, is you child accumulating the right amount of minutes that is needed per week to help fight future health problems, improve academic performance, and maintain a healthly heart? And lastly, does your child have a balanced variety of intensity heart rate zones of: active (Easy 60-70%), healthy heart (moderate 70-90%), and performance (vigorous 90-100%) while participating in the activities? I will have examples of these zones in the health enhancing fitness logs.
Make sure your child is doing the right kind of strength work. This includes doing activities that use their own body weight of the primal pattern movements (Squat, Lunge, Twist, Push, Pull, Twist, & Gait activities), climbing, working with a medicine ball, battle rope, and bosu ball to name a few. Encourage them to develop their: muscular endurance, for example, by playing games and activities where they move continuously in the moderate to vigorous activity zones (70% - 100% effort) to experience greater health benefits.
Be aware that training for: reaction time, speed, agility, balance, power, hand/eye or foot/eye coordination is effective in this stage of their development. Children can develop these components through activities that focus on rapid, darting movements and on fast hand or foot movements.
Make sure your child gets the right amount of competition. Children in this stage enjoy competition, but they have to learn how to train too. The goal should be 70% of activity time in training, 30% in actual competition and competition-specific training. In a team sport, this means 2-3 practices for every game. If your child is in a team sport, make sure he or she gets a chance to compete.
Keep up the fitness,
Shawn Williamson, M.Ed, B.S.
Grades 4, 5, 6
Physical Education & Health
808 952 – 7189