DSD's Little Athletics Programme
Little Athletics is for 7 - 10 year old boys and girls. The training is on Thursdays. In DSD, 7 & 8 year olds can only do Little Athletics, and 9 year olds upwards can move up to the older training groups or stay with Little Athletics if they wish. Some 10 year olds may be more comfortable with the Little Athletics programme but most will move up. These years are an important time in a child’s development and the aim of Little Athletics is to help children develop agility, balance and coordination in a fun environment.
Sessions last an hour, during which, the children will work on running, throwing and jumping (and develop their natural fitness and endurance in the process). We try to start punctually with a gentle warm up and because we are tired at the end, we end promptly! Please try to be in time for the warm up. From time to time we may do an ‘agility challenge’ and measure the children’s progress. This is to set personal goals for them. Saturday sessions in Irishtown are for 8 years upwards and are geared towards acquiring specific skills, not Little Athletics.
The club welcomes all children (and adults) regardless of ability. We enjoy coaching weaker children as much as stronger ones. We believe all the children will benefit from the activities. Even if they never compete in athletics (or any other sport), the fundamentals will be of benefit for all their life.
It is good to do other sports. Specialisation should wait. Children need lots of physical activity (an hour a day, including active playing, is recommended). One day a week of athletics is enough. Two is fine.
Competition consists of cross country before Christmas, indoor track and field in the spring and track and field in the summer, all are optional. Competition introduces the children to self reliance and teaches them to cope with challenges. Athletics competition is tough with nowhere to hide and there are only medals for the first three. Competition is not a priority at this age, some children can find it off putting, particularly if they are weaker than their peers. However, competition forms an increasingly important part of sport as children get older but too much competition is worse than too little. We may suggest that you enter the child in a competition and you can decide. We hope to give children who have enough talent to be Olympic champion an environment to reach that potential. Whether or not they are winning under 10 races won’t affect that one way or the other.
We don’t allow horseplay (boys’ default activity) and will be firm with a child if it starts. Children aren’t allowed opt out of part of the session. Part of the training is to learn to keep trying.
No sugary snacks/ crisps at training please. It is a good idea to give your child a bottle of water. It is also a good idea for them to have a snack soon after training, preferably a healthy one.
Like to help out?
Any parent should feel free to offer if you would like to get involved in a session. You can supervise part of training on an ad hoc basis or give a greater commitment. If you would like to get more involved, let us know.
After Little Athletics
Ages 10 - 14 (boys) and 10 - 13 (girls) are the most important years in athletic development. After Little Athletics we hope your children will move up to our coaches in that age group and continue to improve.
DSD's Little Athletics is managed by Fiona and Gerry McGrath