Summer is here and the countdown to race day for the TriKids triathletes has begun.
With a little help from you - moms and dads- half the fun of your kids triathlon experience can be the anticipation and preparation leading up to the big day. It’s the perfect opportunity to “train” and “coach” your kids to be race ready with these kid-friendly tips:
Start a fun training program for your triathlete
Keep it positive and realistic. Do something triathlon-specific at least once a week – like a bike ride or a short run around the block. Get them excited about getting their body ready for the race. It’s a great opportunity to teach kids about how the body works and how to prepare their bodies for exercise, while at the same time, developing life long habits for physical activity. You might even want to create an activity chart with columns for swimming, biking and running that they can earn stickers for when they train in that discipline – this will help log their practice and give them something to feel proud of when they see how much they’ve accomplished in the weeks leading up to the race. Older kids can get more specific about logging and building up to race day distances or setting goals like “This year I will swim without a life jacket” or “This year I will do a personal best time.”
Build their confidence
Training for the event will help them physically but you’ll also want to build their confidence mentally. As a parent, you play a huge role in teaching them how to believe in themselves and go into each new experience with a “can-do” attitude. So, start talking about it now. Get them thinking that their job is to do their best and that they will enjoy the challenge. Write them notes of encouragement. Leave a Thought Spots™ note on their mirror from the Confidence Grows Thought Pack. Build a family culture that celebrates trying your best and working hard to achieve your goals.
Simulate the race day experience
Kids feel better about experiences when they know what to expect. Create a trial run experience as you get closer to race day. Invite other Trikids to do it with your kids and get all the parents cheering. This will help your kids feel a little more comfortable with everything on race day, especially when roaring applause and cheers from the crowd can make younger triathletes quite timid. If you’re thinking, how will I do the swim when I don’t have access to a pool? – no problem, younger kids will happily “pretend” to swim on land before they get on their bikes; or if you’re up for it, find a pool or lake that would be suited for a practice run. And, if you think your child might become crowd shy on race day, get them out to watch another TriKids triathlon or other sporting event where there are a lot of cheering spectators, so that they know what to expect.
Keep it fun!
TriKids triathlons are all about having a good time, challenging yourself and giving it your best effort! Make the event and the lead up to it a family affair! Make signs as a family to cheer on your triathletes. Round up noise makers for race day and get your kids used to hearing them. Pack a picnic on race day so that you can hang out for the day and cheer on ALL the racers. Perhaps even, dare I say, get mom and dad to sign up for a challenging race for themselves so that the whole family is training for something!
See you on race day with your race ready kids!!!