Encourage your child to warmup before exercise this spring 

For many families, the return of spring means outdoor sports are back in play.  

Whether your children play golf or participate in other physical activities, it’s important to keep them safe. Did you know a third of childhood injuries occur during sports?  

One of the best ways to make sure your child is prepared to play this spring is by encouraging them to warm up before exercise. 

“At First Tee we utilize warmups in a couple different ways,” said Ali Miller, senior manager of programs training at First Tee. “If it has been a little while since your child has been active in sports or they are new to sports in general, warmups are a great way to get their body used to being active. Warmups also allow our coaches to build a foundation of movement that helps facilitate better golf technique using exercises and movements that your child may be more used to such as throwing or kicking a ball.” 

All First Tee classes start with a warmup, and coaches aim to make them fun, so kids feel excited about the rest of the lesson, Miller said. Not only is warming up healthy before exercise, but it’s also a great way to instill in kids the importance of preparing for a task.  

Miller recommends warmups that combine a few different exercises to focus on different skills and muscles. For example, she’ll combine skiers for balance and agility with lunges for strength and flexibility. 

“Lastly, I always have kids do some kind of throwing, kicking or hitting motion, which covers object control. All these actions mimic golf skills and help me see what kids are capable of movement wise,” Miller said.  

“I also usually organize these exercises into some kind of circuit or obstacle course to keep things fun and keep kids moving for the whole warmup.” 

When it comes to other tips to prepare for spring sports, Miller said kids are generally resilient, but it never hurts to take your child to the doctor for a physical, especially if they’ve been more sedentary over winter.  

“Our coaches place safety as a number one priority but parents can help by making sure kids are wearing golf or athletic shoes and clothing that is easy to move around in,” she said. “As always if your child has any allergies or physical limitations let your local First Tee staff know so they can make sure everything is in order and they’re set up for success.” 

Learn about First Tee programs in your area.