This Is What An Engaging Athletics Coaching Session For Kids Can Look Like

A Sample Run Jump Throw Session For Young Athletes

1. Warm Up

a) Monster Tag

Set-Up

  • Set up a square playing area.
  • The kids scatter in within the playing area.
  • The coach holds two full-length pool noodles as “monster arms”.

Game

The kids run about within the playing area, attempting to avoid being tagged by the monster as the coach walks around swinging the “monster arms”.

No one is eliminated even if tagged.

Progression 1

Add 15 or so hoops to the playing area. The kids are not allowed to step in any of the hoops.

Monster tag with hoops

Progression 2

As above but the kids have to step in as many hoops as they can. Each child keeps count.

Progression 3

As above but the kids wait in a hoop until the “monster’s” back is turned. When they get the chance, they have to sprint to another free hoop without being tagged, where they are safe.

Notes

  • Kids will love this game and its progressions. Some have mentioned to me that the final progression has been one of their favourite parts of the session
  • You can change from the kids being chased by a “Monster” to e.g. a crocodile (snap the pool noodles together like crocodile jaws, or whatever else you can invent.

b) Hoop Challenges

  • Two kids inside a large hoop, wearing the hoop around their waist. The kids move around with their hands on their heads and not let the hoop fall.
  • The kids each put a hoop on the ground and scissor (quickly swap) their feet in and out of the hoop while circling the hoop.

2. Running

a) Running Challenges

Various running and movement challenges over 10m:

  • Running forwards & backwards
  • Side-stepping
  • Galloping
  • Skipping
  • Running forwards while rotating arms backwards

b) Sprint Races

A series of 10m sprint races beginning from a variety of starting positions. e.g. kneeling, prone, facing away from running direction, etc.

3. Jumping

a) Horizontal Jump Development

Set Up

Pool Noodle Minis Cropped

Full length pool noodles held up off the ground by being jammed each end into an adjustable mini hurdle. One per every two participants.

Activities

  • Standing two foot to two foot jumps over the noodle
  • One foot to two jumps (short approach long jumps) over the hurdle.

b) Vertical Jump Development – Scissors Slalom

Set Up

Pool Noodle Minis x 4

As above but the kids line up at one end of the noodles.

Activity

  • The kids follow a slalom path performing a scissors high jump action over each noodle as they reach it.
Noodle Scissors Slalom Cropped

Notes

  • If landed on, the noodle causes no harm.
  • The scissors slalom can take a bit of teaching but is great once the kids get it.

4. Throwing – Discus Development

Using the same noodle set-up as above:

  • Discus roll under noodle
  • Discus underarm toss over noodle
  • Discus sling over noodle

5. Bear Crawl Over Noodles

Line up all of the five noodles obstacles in close hurdle formation. Have the kids bear crawl over the hurdles.

6. Game – Walking the Dog

A relay challenge with a partner during which they drag along a 1kg medicine ball with a hoop. The kids take turns to work the ball through a simple obstacle course.

7. Conclusion

A quick discussion about what was most enjoyed. Take mental notes and learn!


If this post helped you please take a moment to help others by sharing it on social media. If you want to learn more I encourage you to leave questions and comments or contact me directly.


Darren Wensor is a sports development professional, coach educator, specialist coach of young athletes, and founder of the blog coachingyoungathletes.com. Learn more about him here and connect with him on TwitterFacebookLinkedin, or via email. Check out Coaching Young Athletes on YouTube, the Coaching Young Athletes podcast, and the Coaching Young Athletes E-Book Series.

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