The coach made the annual trek to the family cottage on Inverhuron Beach, Tiverton, Canada on the July long weekend to celebrate Canada’s birthday and attend the Campbell Clan Open golf tourney. There were over 50 of us in attendanceand many others who could not attend. The weekend long festivities would NOT be complete without coach Jeff’s youth running ‘clinic’ for my cousins’ children ages 6 to 12. Luke, Will, Kelsey and Tommy belong to Sara & Jay, Mia belongs to Kathleen and Eric whilst Blake and Cody belong to Janis and Brad. There are many other young ones in our clan BUT they are still somewhat young for my family run clinic!
I started with Blake, Cody & Mia – three special, enthusiastic, athletic kids who just want to move. They are also keen to learn about running barefoot and my squat-scoot technique of safe running. Even though they generally run around in ‘coffins’, they took to running barefoot as if they were veterans. You’ll also notice each of them had a turn as the ‘coach’, wearing my official TOTT coach’s t-shirt.When I first had them run in their ‘coffins’, they had no idea how to control their bodies to ensure a light and compact landing. You can see the feet flailing and the upper bodies rotating wildly due to NO sensory feedback from the feet.
Once barefoot, the kids lined up better, pushed off forward better and landed balanced, compact and light. This was a major breakthrough for them.
We finished the session with a return to the ‘coffins’ – the challenge was for the kids to run as if still barefoot. As you can see from the photos and video footage below, they did this quite well. What also came through was how much fun they had ‘training’ with their ‘old’ Uncle Jeff!
I then wandered down the cottage road to hook up with Luke, Will, Kelsey and Tommy – the four siblings who impress me with their positive attitude, willingness to learn and attention to physical activity as a positive way of living. They are mature WAY beyond their years but are still kids at heart.Each of them took a turn wearing my official TOTT coach’s t-shirt (it’s interesting how ALL of the young ones wanted to wear the t-shirt. Heck, who doesn’t want to be the boss!?)From there, they all impressed me with their natural barefoot running form on the rough stone road that runs the full length of our beach. Believe me when I say this is one ROUGH surface. The four of them scooted over the stones as if they were smooth as glass.
We then headed down to the beach where the kids (in about 5 seconds) taught the old coach how to use the video component of his I-pad Mini. Blake, Cody & Mia had shown me earlier but I forgot how to work it within about 5 minutes! Thus, the follow-up lesson from the other kids.
You can see from the video footage how smooth and natural the kids’ running action is after only a few minutes of coaching around my Squat-Scoot technique. They instantly grasp the concept of tight, light, compact, forward running to keep them injury-free as they grow and remain active in any sports activity. The takeaways from the weekend for the old coach are:
- I am blessed to be part of such a large, loving, caring family
- the members of our family’s next generation are sensitive, enthusiastic, energetic and multi-talented AND have parents who go beyond CARING
- the future is bright if my young TOTTers featured in the blog are any indication
Every family should be so lucky!