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Why is my daughter a slow runner ?

Within my work as a track coach and athletic development coach i’m asked this question on a regular basis. Every so often during my coaching sessions a parent may ask me this question. Then, after a few seconds of thought provoking hums and haas, eyes moving up and down etc I give the same answer .......................

“ your child is not slow, they need to follow the FASTER path of training and then they will become faster “.

There may be varying reasons for lack of speed presently with your daughter, but the good news is that it can be changed and developed.

Running is a skill. All skills are learnt, and so as long as your child tries to learn the skills, goes through the skill processes from slow speed to speed, receives feedback, then your child can get faster. How much faster is dependent on many factors. It may take some time but it will happen.

We see so many children who go to club coaching session (basketball, tennis, ballet, drama, swimming, gaelic) on a daily basis, and some children will run fast a lot and get the ball, pass, catch, push the ball, but some children will be standing still, not getting the ball, not finding space and therefore they will not be developing the key muscles that need to be worked to help develop speed.

The FASTER path of training is a step by step approach of

F – Functional physical and cognitive ability “ where is your child at ?

A – Assessment “ if it cant be measured, it wont be achieved “. We test each child in 6 activities

S - Specific , start working on the correct exercises to help develop and enhance the speed muscles

T – Training , work with the programme we have given you, or work with one of of our speed coaches

E – Evaluation, we re-assess you and show you the improvement

R – Re-Asses, we retest you, show you the improvements and then work on the next stage

Running fast is dependent on two key factors of force and ground contact time. They may seem simple enough words in reference to running fast but there may be a vast amount of issues related to why your child cannot presently develop these two key factors.

Developing top end speed



Developing acceleration




In our sessions we take the science of running fast (sprinting), and break it down into manageable and understandble steps so that children (5-12 yrs old) and teenagers (13-17 yr olds) understand what they need to work on and why, and eventually they will run FASTER.

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