Tag Archives: Youth Sports

A Sprinting Game That Will Make Kids Run Really Fast

Drop The Ribbon Is A Running Game That Kids Will Love

It is difficult to get young kids to run fast without giving them a reason for doing so. In fact, a lot of very young kids don’t understand maximum effort in sprinting. They think that they are running fast, but they’re usually not, which is an issue when you are trying to help them develop speed.

Hence, the coach needs to come up with fun ways to get kids to sprint – not just run. Games containing an appropriate level of competition usually do the trick. Even better if that competition is mostly against themselves or in a situation where everyone has the chance to “win”.

“Drop the Ribbon” is one of these games. It is superb game for for encouraging kids to run at their fastest and have a lot of fun while doing so.

It works with small or class-size groups and can be done on a track with lanes or on an open grass field.

Equipment

  • One coloured ribbon (or similar item) for each person.
  • A whistle.
  • A stopwatch.

Set-Up

  • The kids line up along a “starting line”, ready to run, and clenching a coloured ribbon in one of their fists.
  • The coach stands in the starter’s position with their whistle and stopwatch.

Description

Challenge 1: Drop the Ribbon

In this first challenge, the kids are given 6 seconds to try to run and drop their ribbon as far away from the start line as they can.

  • The coach uses the commands: “On Your Marks; Set” then blows their whistle and starts their stopwatch.
  • On the sound of the whistle, the kids race forward, running as fast as they can for as far as they can.
  • When the stopwatch reaches 6 seconds, the coach blows their whistle again.
  • On hearing the second whistle, the kids drop their ribbon, decelerate, and stop.
  • The kids leave their ribbons where they are on the ground and walk back to the starting line.

Challenge 2: Beat the Ribbon

In this second challenge, the kids again run for 6 seconds and attempt to reach (or even beat) the ribbon they previously dropped.

  • The coach uses the commands: “On Your Marks; Set” then blows their whistle and starts their stopwatch.
  • On the sound of the whistle, the kids race forward, running as fast as they can towards their ribbon.
  • When the stopwatch reaches 6 seconds, the coach blows their whistle for the second time.
  • On hearing the second whistle, the kids compare where they are in relation to their ribbon, decelerate, and stop.

Challenge 3: Race from the Ribbon

In this third challenge, the kids start from where they have dropped their ribbon and race back to the original starting line, which is now the finish line.

  • The kids stand next to the ribbon that they have earlier dropped.
  • The coach uses the commands: “On Your Marks; Set” then blows their whistle to start the race.
  • This kids race to the finish line. The “handicapped” start usually results in a close. exciting finish.

Summary

  1. Drop the Ribbon – Give the kids 6 seconds to run and drop the ribbon as far away from the start line as possible
  2. Beat the Ribbon – Give the kids 6 seconds to run and reach (or even beat) the ribbon previously dropped.
  3. Race from the Ribbon – Start from the ribbon and race back to the starting line.

Over to You!

Try playing “Drop the Ribbon” during your next session with a group of kids. I would love to her how the group reacts. You can let me know by leaving a comment/reply of by using the contact details below.

Further reading

A Fun Sprints Lesson Plan For Kids E-Book (plus bonus cheat sheet) by Coaching Young Athletes


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.



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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, Anchor or via email.

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