By Estela Camacho
As an organization that offers athletic activities to the children in our community, we evaluate all of our programs each year to see where we can make improvements and how we can better train our athletes. With each sport offered by Danbury Athletic Youth Organization D.A.Y.O., most of the practice time is spent with teaching the skills and rules of the respective game along with teamwork and good sportsmanship. One of the areas we have identified where more time needs to be dedicated is in teaching kids how to run. The constants with all sports activities, regardless of age, size or sport, are speed, endurance and footwork. The Speed & Agility Camp was started several years ago with the intention of dedicating a training program to specifically address how to improve each child’s speed and mobility.
During the month of July, we meet twice a week in the evening for 1½ hours and take the participants through a series of stations designed to improve their running mechanics and footwork. The first night each child is timed in the 40-yard dash. This is used as a benchmark so we can compare each athlete’s time on the final night of the program. We begin each night with some stretching and light calisthenics to get everyone warmed up. We then split the kids up into groups by age and send them to one of four or five stations, varying them by night, and rotating groups through each station every ten minutes. All participants receive their own water bottle when they sign up, which they carry with them to each station to ensure proper hydration.
We have coaches from a variety of sports, which include football, soccer, lacrosse and track and field. This ensures that the drills and stations are tailored to footwork, balance, endurance and running techniques. The field is set up as stations at which you can find hurdles, cones, ladders, resistance belts, parachutes and the 40-yard dash. This program runs on Tuesday and Thursday evenings from 6 – 7:30 pm for children ages 5-14 beginning July 5. You can register online at www.dayosports.com or see us on Sundays at Kaplanis Field at Broadview Middle School from noon to 2:00 pm. The Speed and Agility Camp is for boys and girls that may be involved in any sport or no sport at all. This is a great way to stay healthy and fit during the summer!! The fee for the whole duration of the camp is $25.00 and it is open to children from nearby towns.
For additional information, please call Angel Morales 203-501-4092. We hope to join us!
This article was written by Estela Camacho, Danbury Athletic Youth Organization (DAYO) secretary. For more information, visit www.dayosports.com, or contact Estela at 203-530-2457 or Bestelacamacho@sbcglobal.net.