Monday, March 5, 2007

Stunting your child's growth

Many parents are concerned about stunting their child's growth through physical activity, but the truth is that their growth my be hindered through lack of physical preparation. Those same parents that are concerned with their growth will have that same child specialize in one sport. Specializing in one sport is dangerous for youth because you limit the variety of motor pathways they are able to learn. Studies have shown that children that are exposed to more than one sport at early ages are on the average better overall athletes. They are able to pick up different sports faster because they have learned numerous motor pathways. The take home message is let your child play many different sports like Football, baseball, swimmming ......

Another myth that has me scratching my head is when you hear parents say that they are worried about their kids lifting weights because it will stunt their growth. Kids put their bodies through much more trauma participating sports such as little league football. I do agree that the kids should learn the techniques, build a general preparation base, and be supervised before they start a strength training program. As you can see, the thing that is most stunting the children's growth is our lack of information.

I think there are several things that have stunted the growth of the youth and I have listed them below.

1) Lack of physical activity- Spend too much time in front of the TV

2) Unsupportive parents- Spend more time tearing them down instead of encouraging them

3) Play one sport through out their youth- Have not learned a variety of skill sets

4) Poor diets - Look at how many cases of obesity are reported in the U.S.

5) Lack of proper periodization for strength gains - Many coaches never develop a General Preparation Phase in their programs

6) Parents are flat out too serious in Little Leagues - The news reports parents fighting with coaches over playing time all the time.

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