The recent news of the World record broken by 10 year old Jonah Gorevic made the headlines last week.
He ran 5:01:55 for the mile to break the previous record by 4 seconds.
You can see the list of all Age Group World records here at http://age-records.125mb.com or the European records here at http://statistics.homepage.t-online.de/a.htm (Thanks Ian Graham for pointing them out to me)
A 5 minute mile by a 10 year old is an incredible feat, and he definitely deserves the credit of good genetics, his parents, and good coaching. (maybe his Dad or Mom is the coach?)
So You Think Your Kid is Fast?
Before you read the rest of the article, Derek Hansen wrote “My Kid Loves Sports, But Has No Speed: What Should I Do?” on our joint site StrengthPowerSpeed.com. Highly recommended read.
I get a lot of emails and Facebook messages every day from athletes and parents, asking for advice.
Here is an example:
I’m a 13 year old track sprinter and just finished my first season in track and field. I need to know if my times were good for my age.
100m = 12.55 seconds
200m = 25.83 seconds
400m = 58.64 seconds
Based on these results, which event should I focus on?
Well, I hate to break the bad news to this reader, but if you look at the world records for his age group (same link as above), you will see a huge gap.
Note some very familiar names like Yohan Blake, Travyon Bromell, Yoshihide Kiryu, Jeff Demps, and Shawn Crawford. Very impressive list!
Like Derek’s article above, you should not discourage your kid, even if the Olympics is not a realistic possibility. But you can definitely help your kid become a better athlete and improve on whatever genetics and talent he or she may have.
For the reader above, he can probably improve a full second to run in the mid 11 second range within a year or two. We know for youth athletes more of the race is speed endurance as they reach top speeds sooner than elites (say, 30m instead of 60 or 70m). And we can probably shave a fraction of a second on his start. Of course, we would keep working on acceleration development from Day 1.
But by the time he reaches 14 years old, the WR will be 10.65 and he may run 11.55.
Okay, no Olympic potential, but he can be the best he can be (that’s what’s it all about, right?). Realistically, he will make more money from his schooling (assuming Undergrad in University) than any track earnings or sponsors.
There are exceptions to the rule.
Can you imagine having a 17 year old male sprinter on your team who runs 11.45 for 100 meters, then the following year as a Junior he runs 10.50. 10.30 is the IAAF “A” standard so you dare to write him off as “Nah, he’ll never be a world class sprinter” kind of attitude. Would you write him off? (The person in this example is Asafa Powell!)
Just don’t push your kid too far. Read Are You Pushing Your Kid too Far?