I love sport, all sports. I enjoyed playing many sports as a child, however I only was involved in two sports at an organised level. They were of course Football, and the other was Little Athletics. To explain what little athletics was when I was a child, basically every Saturday morning I would compete in a series of track & field events against others around my age.
Obviously throwing a shot put, is not necessarily going to help your speed in Football however, the 60m, 100m, 200m, 400m short distance, the 800m and even 1500m middle distance events, and even hurdle races and the long jump that I competed in, proved to be a great asset and additional training for my Football, it was an enjoyable training supplement. A competitive outlet to develop my motor skills, fast twitch muscle fibres, athleticism, as well as getting coaching towards my technique by coaches. One of my most vivid memories a s a child was being in the state primary schoolboy 100m final at around age 12. I had stopped little athletics by this stage and decided to focus solely on Football.
So we lined up on the blocks for the start of the race… BANG the gun went off, I was out of the blocks quickest and by the 30 – 40 metre mark I was in front of every other runner I would say by at least a metre! That’s where my Football speed ended, and the other runners athletics training kicked in. Gradually 5 other runners got in front by the finish line.
What we train for we get, and my many hours of doing 10, 20, and 30m sprints on the football field developed my speed off the mark and over short distances.
To sum it all up, if your child enjoys competing and specifically sprinting joining a local little athletics club may be a great way to actively engage the benefits of sprint training and adding some variety to the training of a grassroots Footballer.