Getting preschoolers: Ready to LAND on their feet!
Take a moment and think about your own sports skills....
Think about your ability to LAND, in balance and in control!
After you received that quick basketball pass, you bent your knees, pushed UP to aim a shot and THEN had to LAND.
How did that go?
These markers give an athlete confidence:
• Landing with a functional separation of the feet.
• Keeping head lifted.
• Keeping eye focus.
• Making shoulders level.
• Holding arms IN to body.
• Absorbing the body weight through safe use of hips, knees, and ankles.
• Returning to a strong stance, READY to make the 'next' move!
Lots of games and physical activities and sports have controlled landings as part of successful movements.
For youngsters, this fundamental movement skill has 2 parts:
1. Taking off: pushing off [repulsing] elevating the body, legs, arms head.
2. Landing: absorbing energy with whole body, legs and feet.
HOW TO TRAIN the Skill of LANDING Firmly:
By planning a few experiences, done in a safe spot, you can build your child's movement vocabulary. Presenting simple tasks, in a progressive series of practice sessions, you can give your youngster that "I CAN Do That!" confidence.
IDEA # 1
1. A basic idea to suggest to your child is trying to stand on a slightly higher place: 4 to 5 " [10 -13 cm.].
2. Then, with a slight bending of both knees and a slight swinging forward of both arms, push against the support, AND LAND on both feet.
3. Encourage good placement of feet: side by side with 2-3 " [5 cm.] of a space between each foot.
4. Encourage the child to keep their head lifted.
5. Suggest they look straight forward as they LAND.
6. SAY: bend your knees to the child as they touch the ground wit their feet.
7. SAY: GLUE feet or FREEZE, but both knees must be bent.
IDEA # 2
1. Keep the idea of 'good posture' in mind as your teach and coach.
2. Keep held lifted.
3. Shoulders should be EVEN.
4. Keep focus forward.
5. Feet should be place directly under the hips.
6. Slight lean of the body: forward.
7. Allow for knee actions: bending somewhat to absorb the landing energy and then stretching straight to gain control and maintain balance.
As you can see, mastery of the LANDING, try a slightly HIGHER start SPOT.
Use only a safe place, that has no obstacles, maybe a slightly cushioned surface.
To remember to use the same cue words, each practice session.
Keep the practice times, positive and upbeat.
Stop when interest fades, or child tires.
With practice, this fundamental move with be part of your child's skill set and they will use it often as they play early childhood games and begin team activities.
If you enjoy being your child's coach and teacher, or know someone who teaches movement skills to children, visit kidskills.com.
On Apple iTunes iBookstore, there is a set of 6 Kidskills Movement and Sports Training Manuals available for your iPads. These Manual give a progressively organized curriculum for preschools fundamental movement development.