Help for a 10 year old

by Mary Jo Little
(Fort Myers, Florida)

I have a 10 year old grandson who loves sports of all kinds.

Plays baseball, basketball, and soccer.

He has a great understanding and love of the sports but when he runs he gets no where.
He seems to go up and down instead of forward.

No matter how good you are at a sport if you can not run the bases or get down the field or court as fast as the others you are just not going to make it.

I would like to find a way to help him. He is very thin and not going to be real tall as it looks right now (for his sake I wish that were not true because he loves basketball).
He has a birthday coming up and I would like to give him a gift that would help him.
Do you have any suggestions?

No, I am not trying to make a super star.
I would just like to help the child enjoy the sports he likes to play more.

BrrBrr (his name for me)

Answer by Dominique:

Hi BrrBrr ... :)

Your grandson is blessed to have a grandma with a heart of gold who truly wants to help him improve his sporting ability. Apart from that, you visiting his games and cheering him on, what else does he need?

There is not much I can do. From what you are describing his running technique does not sound to be completely optimal.

If he wants to improve his running, he might be best off joining his local athletics or running club.
There, with specialised and educated coaches around, he could improve his running in a safe environment.

So, athletics membership might be an idea for a gift then?
However, with baseball, basketball and soccer already in his agenda, something will probably have to give, so I would make sure that he wants that, before you give it!

I also have to say that pretty much the only questions I refrain from answering are the questions about kids and their running.

I have been asked for running schedules for great talents, for dieting advice etcetera and my answer is always:

Let the kids be. Let them enjoy themselves and have fun. As long as they are engaged in sports and have fun doing it, I am happy.

When you interfere with what they do you run the risks of turning them away from sports all together or, when pushing them too much, getting them injured.

I know you want the best for your grandson and you are not after making him the next sporting hero, but it seems like he enjoys sports anyway, so is there really a need to change anything?

Back to the gifts.
I am really into soccer myself, so I reckon a good gift could be a DVD of Dennis Bergkamp, one of Holland's finest strikers ever. What he does is poetry on the soccer field.
There are a few DVDs about him and other great players ("Arsenal Centurions - 100 goals of Henry & Bergkamp", "Arsenal 501 goals", "Arsenal the untouchables") which should be a straight hit. Unless he hates Arsenal... :)

Anyway, hope you understand I do not want to get too involved when it comes to kids running, hope you find him a suitable gift and hope you and your family enjoy his birthday.

All the best.

Join in and write your own page! It's easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to Running Training Helpline.

Like this page:

Share this page:

Like this site:

[?] Subscribe To This Site

follow us in feedly
Add to My Yahoo!


  • Beginner Running Tips

    Are you a beginning runner? Then this is your best starting point. Many tips and running programs on offer, dedicated to you.

  • Running for Weight Loss

    Aiming to lose a few pounds? Get into the Running for Weight Loss section for tips and advice.

  • Running Training

    The Running Training section of the site has got the most articles. It is constantly getting updated with new tips and information. A must-visit if you are serious about improving your running performance.

  • 5k Running Tips

    The 5k is a great distance to run and train for. The great thing is that you can do it quite often and see big improvements.

  • 10k Running Tips

    The 10k is a real challenge. You need to run fast for an uncomfortably long time! Check out this section if you are strong of mind and legs!

  • Marathon Running Tips

    The marathon is a massive challenge. Proper training is so important! Make sure to check out this section if you have got your mind set on the marathon!

What's New?

  1. Marathon Calculator Page - Three Essential Running Calculators That Help You Conquer Your Marathon

    This marathon calculator page provides you with a set of running calculators that help you conquer your marathon. Calculate your marathon pace, training pace etc.

    Read more

  2. Advanced Marathoning Book Review- If You Want To Do More Than Finishing a Marathon

    Want to run your best marathon? Want to do more than just finishing a marathon. Then Advanced Marathoning is the book for you.

    Read more

  3. Top Fifteen Beginner Jogging Myths

    The top fifteen beginner jogging myths. When you are a beginning runner, you'll hear lots of nonsense about running. This articles dispels some of the most common myths.

    Read more

  4. How Can I Improve My 5 Mile Time?

    I am a 25-year-old female running a 7 minute mile for 5 miles. My time is between 33 to 35 minutes. My question is how can I run a 6 minute mile for 5

    Read more

  5. Returning to Running After a Meniscus Injury

    I have developed a meniscus injury which requires surgery. I run 1/2 and full marathons and haven't been able to run for the past 3 months as I wait

    Read more