Coaches beware: Young athletes standing around too often at practice


Many of today’s volunteer coaches do beyond amazing work with their teams, orchestrating action-packed practices that the kids love being a part of, but not every young athlete is so fortunate.

That fact was backed up with a recent study by researchers from San Diego State University and further reinforces the importance that volunteer coaches are trained in their roles and responsibilities to help ensure that all children have fun and rewarding experiences.

The researchers monitored 200 children ages 7-14 representing more than 25 teams in the San Diego area during their practices for soccer, baseball and softball – and the results were disturbing.

Experts recommend that children should get 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity every day, and lots of parents are under the false impression that just because their child is enrolled in a sports program that they are hitting that quota during their practices.

The study also found that only 24 percent of the participants met the 60-minute recommendation while among the 11- to 14-year-olds the numbers dipped significantly: Only 10 percent of children were achieving those
recommended levels of exercise.

Researchers used sensors to track the young athletes’ level of physical activityand the children were inactive an average of 30 minutes per practice session.

Girls in general were active approximately 11 minutes less than boys and softball and baseball players were active about 14 minutes less than soccer players.

Girl softball players had particularly low activity levels with only two percent achieving the recommended minimum.

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