Is your child a dif­fer­ent ge­nius?

Life & Style Weekend - - YOU - With Hamish McMichael Visit Hamish at Kaizen Ex­er­cise Phys­i­ol­o­gists, 2/47 Sixth Ave, Ma­roochy­dore, and get your well­ness on track.

SOME kids are blessed with hav­ing a great ear for the vi­o­lin, or seem to pick up al­ge­bra with ease. Let’s not forget about the child who eas­ily picks up a pirou­ette or a cricket bat, though. While physical ac­tiv­ity of­ten takes a back seat to aca­demic pur­suits at schools, this is at a cost to our kids and their fu­ture po­ten­tial.

Play­ing sport is not only good for kids’ health, it’s also a good way to keep them learn­ing at school. Re­searchers from the Uni­ver­si­ties of South Carolina and Penn­syl­va­nia State who tracked 9700 stu­dents aged 14-18 found teenagers who be­longed to school sports clubs, as op­posed to drama or de­bat­ing, were more likely to fin­ish school and go on to ter­tiary study.

Not all our kids have the abil­ity or de­sire to be aca­demics. If your child has a gift for a sport it can pro­vide them with an amaz­ing range of ex­pe­ri­ences which could in­clude meet­ing new team­mates and men­tors, travel, op­tions for ed­u­ca­tion and work over­seas, con­fi­dence build­ing, and learn­ing to fo­cus and work to­wards a goal.

While sup­port­ing your child to play sport is im­por­tant, bal­anc­ing sport with aca­demic and fam­ily com­mit­ments is also im­por­tant. A num­ber of sports re­quire an ex­treme com­mit­ment from chil­dren, de­spite the abun­dance of re­search show­ing that early spe­cial­i­sa­tion and over-train­ing in sport can cause early burnout as well as in­juries to grow­ing bod­ies.

A cru­cial time to man­age train­ing for kids is when they are go­ing through phases of rapid growth (known as Peak Height Ve­loc­ity – PHV). In boys this usu­ally oc­curs at 12-14 years, and a touch ear­lier in girls at 11-13 years. Grow­ing bones and tis­sues do need spe­cial at­ten­tion dur­ing this time. Rapidly grow­ing mus­cles and bones can cause mus­cle im­bal­ances and detri­men­tal changes in flex­i­bil­ity and move­ment. We al­ways sug­gest to par­ents that they closely mon­i­tor train­ing vol­ume dur­ing this time. A good rule of thumb is that there should be less than 16 hours of train­ing/com­pet­ing a week.

As with most pur­suits in life, prepa­ra­tion is key. Help­ing your child pre­pare for train­ing is the best thing you can do as a par­ent. This could in­clude op­ti­mis­ing their nutri­tion, sleep, strength and con­di­tion­ing work, and psy­cho­log­i­cal sup­port to deal with the pres­sure of train­ing, com­pet­ing, win­ning and los­ing.

We’ve been lucky enough to help kids travel the world and com­pete at the high­est level, get schol­ar­ships to uni­ver­si­ties, and learn how to man­age them­selves and their bod­ies at the high­est lev­els of com­pe­ti­tion. These achieve­ments have been life-chang­ing for them and their en­tire fam­ily.

If you’ve got a young sports per­son who we can help to achieve their fu­ture po­ten­tial we’d love to talk to you. Give me a call on 07 5479 3411.

PHOTO: CON­TRIB­UTED

Sport can open many doors for chil­dren.

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