Dart & Dash Challenge
“ I’m constantly working on improving my quickness and footwork. It helps with my drop-backs, my throwing and avoiding 300-pound tacklers. Andrew Luck #12 ”
Agility is about syncing your body with your mind. This week, you are going to learn the importance of things like changing direction, speed, balance and coordination. See what a little fancy footwork can do for a kid like you.
Do not attempt the exercises if injury or disability prevents you from completing them safely. Participate to the best of your ability to complete the challenge.
Find a spot in your house or outside in your yard. With just your right foot, jump in the shape of a triangle—laterally left to right, diagonally forward, diagonally back to the spot where you started. After a couple times, switch to your left foot and repeat the motion. This exercise builds strength and quickness.
9-12 year olds
Two sets each of 6 triangle jumps with your right foot, 6 triangle jumps with your left foot.
13-17 year olds
Two sets each of 8 triangle jumps with your right foot, 6 triangle jumps with your left foot.
Learning to backpedal is like teaching yourself to run backward. Find an open area in your house or outside in your yard. As opposed to facing forward, you are going to turn backward with your knees bent and back straight. Just as you would do if you were sprinting in a straight line, step back quickly reaching your feet behind you. Don’t be afraid to pump both your arms, but make sure they are bent at the elbow. Use distance markers (cones, old shoes, hats, t-shirts, etc) to backpedal back and forth from. And always make sure to backpedal under control. This exercise improves coordination, speed and balance.
9-12 year olds
Two sets of up and back. Set two distance markers 10 steps apart from one another. Backpedal to one, rest for 10 seconds and then backpedal back. That’s one set. Then rest. Then repeat.
13-17 year olds
Three sets of up and back. Set two distance markers 15 steps apart from one another. Backpedal to one, rest for 10 seconds and then backpedal back. That’s one set. Then rest. Then repeat 2 more times.
Find an area in your yard or at a local park. Make sure to bring 3 distance markers with you (cones, old shoes, hats, t-shirts, etc..). Set 3 distance markers 10 steps apart from one another. Start at the first distance marker. In one continuous motion, run to the second distance marker, bend down, touch the ground with your hand and then run back to the first distance marker. Touch the ground with your hand at the first distance marker and then turn and run to the third distance marker. Touch the ground at the third distance marker and then turn around and run through the first distance marker. That’s one shuttle. This exercise helps build quickness and strength.
9-12 year olds
Two shuttles. Make sure to rest and hydrate in between shuttles. Also, don’t forget to stretch.
13-17 year olds
Three shuttles. Make sure to rest and hydrate in between shuttles. Also, don’t forget to stretch.
For the final day, we want all kids to create their own agility course. It can be as simple as finding a creative way to string all three of the exercises you’ve done throughout the week together. Or, you can take it further by setting up more distance markers to weave and run through, incorporating a step to jump on or an object to jump over, or setting up distance markers in a box shape and jumping with both feet around it.
Use your imagination and concentrate on setting up a course that combines a mix of running, jumping, shuffling or shuttling. Most importantly, have fun!
Have your kids stick to these guidelines for the week and you’ll pass the “Fuel Up” part of this week’s challenge.
- Eat whole grain or whole wheat carbs (oatmeal, whole wheat bread or a bagel, brown rice) for energy
- Eat fruit to satisfy your sweet tooth and get a healthy dose of carbs
- Sweets like cake and cookies. They may be tasty, but lack nutritional value.
This recipe will give the kids a healthy dose of carbohydrates without all the fat. Serve them these fries and you can help them fly this week.
1 lb. sweet potatoes and/or carrots
1/2 cup white whole wheat flour or all-purpose flour
2 eggs, lightly beaten
2 Tbsp. water
1 cup dry bread crumbs
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Lightly brush a baking pan with olive oil. Peel vegetables and cut into thin wedges that are 3 to 4 inches long. Toss vegetables with 2 teaspoons of olive oil. Place the vegetables on the prepared pan and roast them for 10 minutes. Remove from oven and cool.
2. In a shallow bowl, mix together the flour and salt. In another shallow bowl, combine eggs and water. In a third shallow bowl, stir together the bread crumbs and Parmesan cheese.
3. Coat the same baking pan again with olive oil. Dip the vegetables in the flour mixture, then the egg mixture, then the bread crumbs, coating them evenly. Arrange coated vegetables in a single layer on the pan.
4. Roast for 15 minutes or until vegetables are brown and crispy on surface. Serve warm.
“ Good carbohydrates give me the energy I need to power through my workouts. Andrew Luck #12 ”
Why It Matters
Kids who make an effort to improve their agility find that it can improve things like coordination and balance. See what our expert doctor has to say about agility.
"When kids embrace the importance of agility, they can begin to improve things like strength, speed, quickness, balance and coordination. These are difference makers when it comes to playing sports, being active and staying injury-free."
Pediatric Orthopedic Surgery
The Benefits of Agility
- Improves balance and coordination
- Builds speed and strength
- Enhances athleticism
- Increases likelihood of sport participation which leads to confidence and team interaction
- Helps reduce the risk of injury in athletes of all skill levels
Our expert Riley Hospital for Children at IU Health team is here for:
- Injuries to muscles, joints or bones
- Motor skills or balance issues
- Training and rehabilitation
- Problems with fatigue or vision
Dart & Dash Challenge Check-Off
GREAT JOB! You’ve completed this week’s challenge. We hope you had fun and learned a thing or two. Keep it up. Please make sure to return next week.Sign in to complete challenge!