Mon. Jun 24th, 2024

Running Lessons From a 6 Year Old Football Team

3 min read

When I recently began coaching my son’s 6-year-old football team, I expected to teach the kids about football and enjoying the game. What I didn’t anticipate was how much they would teach me—about joy, resilience, and discipline. These young athletes, with their boundless energy and enthusiasm, offer insights that extend beyond the soccer field and into the world of running. Here are some valuable lessons I’ve learned from coaching that can inspire and enhance our running journey.

One of the most beautiful aspects of coaching 6-year-olds is witnessing their pure joy. They play football with an infectious enthusiasm, celebrating every pass, goal, and even their mistakes. This joy reminds us that running, at its core, should be fun. Embracing the joy of running can reignite our passion and make each run a cherished experience. If it’s not bringing fun then focus on why this is so.

Watching the kids improve through practise and play has been enlightening. They develop skills not through rigid drills, but through playful interactions. Simply having the ball at their feet, mimicking their heroes and simply having fun. This approach can be incredibly beneficial for runners. Incorporating playful elements like trail runs, fun races or having less focus on performance can make training enjoyable and lead to improvement without the monotony of a strict structure.

Coaching a group of energetic 6-year-olds is often chaotic, yet within this chaos, moments of discipline and focus emerge. They line up for drills, listen (mostly), and show determination. This teaches us that finding discipline amidst life’s chaos is essential for running. Balancing work, family, and training requires flexibility and a structured approach. Yet embracing the unpredictable while staying committed to running goals helps maintain consistency and progress.

Young footballers exhibit remarkable resilience. They quickly recover from missed goals or falls, showing a tenacity that’s inspiring. Runners, too, face setbacks—whether it’s an injury, a tough race, or a bad training day. We must bounce back and keep moving forward. Additionally, the sense of team spirit among the kids highlights the importance of community in running. Joining a running group or participating in group events can provide support, motivation, and a sense of belonging.

For 6-year-olds, every small achievement is a cause for celebration, whether it’s a well-timed pass or tackle or scoring a goal. But don’t think that within athletes this young doesn’t manifest a deep will to win. These boys have a great competitive spirit and compete for every ball. This perspective is valuable for runners. Recognising and celebrating small victories, such as completing a run or hitting a personal best can boost motivation and reinforce the positive aspects of our running journey building strength and discipline.

Every session with my son’s team is a reminder of the beauty of learning. The kids are eager to absorb new techniques and skills and their enthusiasm is contagious. For runners, adopting a mindset of continuous learning keeps the sport engaging, as staying curious and open to new information enhances the experience.

Coaching my son’s 6-year-old football team has been a profound and enlightening experience. The lessons of joy, resilience, and playful discipline these young athletes demonstrate have given me a fresh perspective on running. By embracing the joy of the sport, finding improvement through play, maintaining discipline amidst chaos, building resilience, celebrating small wins and fostering a love for learning we can transform our approach to running. Ultimately, it’s about running with the same joy and passion that 6-year-olds bring to the football field, making every step a part of a fulfilling and enjoyable journey.

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