Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : July 12th 2013 Contents to change focus from academics to something else,
be it music, art and craft, culinary, language or athletics.
Selecting which camp would likely be based on
something already known to be of interest to the child.
For obvious reasons if your child enjoys playing football,
more than likely a parent would put them in a football
camp, likewise for swimming, squash or gymnastics.
It is a great opportunity for the youngster to focus
on developing their technical intellectual acumen for
their sport. Rather than competing for time against
the usual victors of school/extra lessons/homework
as is the norm during the academic term, the child
can switch gears, exploring his potential in a setting
outside of the classroom.
While I completely support the use of the July/August
vacation time to further your child s skills in the sport
of their passion, I challenge parents to step out of this
comfort zone as well for a week or two of this holiday
period. Consider taking advantage of this time to
expose them to physical activity outside of their main
sport. Obviously, the direction in which you take this
must be carefully considered as you do not want to
enrol a child into something they will miserably endure
and instill possible feelings of having misplaced your
precious earnings but it is possible for a child passionate
about cricket to enjoy spending their time riding a
bike or swimming, the physical and mental benefits
of which can be easily dismissed.
Most of the injuries that I see with youngsters, par-
ticularly teenagers, are related to overuse due to early
specialisation. Just to be clear, early specialisation
refers to the year-round participation of a child to
one sport (jeeze! Just to write that out really emphasises
how absurd that notion is for a young, developing
body). It is further characterised by such participation
at a high level of intensity early in life in both training
and competition in order to enhance performance
and be a recognised contender in the sport.
Over the past five years or so, the 10-year/ 10,000-
hour rule which states that it takes 10 years or 10,000
hours of conscious effort towards practice to reach
the highest level of performance has pretty much
become common knowledge and accepted truth.
Daniel Coyle, the New York Times bestselling author
of books such as The Talent Code, and Lance Arm-
strong s War, focuses on this 10,000-hour rule in his
blog posted June 7, 2013, called Forget 10,000 Hours---
Instead, Aim for 10 Minutes.
In it he mentions the gathering of about 300 coaches,
players, general managers, and talent-development
experts located globally at the "Leaders in Performance"
conference held in New York this year where it was
criticised that the 10,000-hour rule has created some-
what of a mindless obsession amongst parents and
coaches, seeing programmes that go as far as requiring
athletes to clock in and out of their practice times
like factory workers with time cards. Instead, they
return some of the credit to a focus on quality and
not just quantity to create excellence.
In remembering that balance of quality and quantity,
keep in mind the counter-effects of early specialization
in young athletes. High intensity training before reach-
ing physical maturation increases the risk of injury
significantly which can shorten their athletic career
and impact on their long-term quality of life.
So, in exploring ways to occupy your child during
the July/August vacation, consider making a deliberate
effort to step away from their main sport not to hinder
the progress but possibly promote it by reminding
their muscles of the dynamic other ways it can work
thereby returning some measure of balance.
Friday, July 12, 2013 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
School is out and it is that time of year that has
somehow gotten to be known as "summer time" in
our land of wet and dry seasons, and moms and
dads are going to be busy trying to find "summer
camps" to sign their children into.
While the convenience of knowing your child is
being looked after and being mentally stimulated in
some sort of structured fashion for anywhere between
five and seven hours during the workday is a huge
relief for the parents, for the child it is an opportunity
Chance for parents to
step out comfort zone
Minister of Sport Anil Roberts with young swimmers who are part of the Sportt
Vacation camps which start today throughout the country.
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