YOUNG ATHLETES: WHEN TO START

TOT TRIATHLETES: KIDS AND RUNNING/TRIATHLONS

Kid’s running and triathlon events have been sprouting up more and more over the past few years. With this growing trend comes an inevitable list of pros and cons. As an eternal pessimist, I’ll start with the cons (and save the best for last, of course). If not approached correctly, entering kids into competitions before they are ready (or willing) can have a backlash that includes injury due to inexperience, the child getting burnt out on that sport early in life, or it feeling more like a chore and obligation (And we all know how most kids feel about chores… And most adults for that matter). When something feels forced it can be easier to lose a passion and drive for it. It is all too easy to assume that since something is your passion, it should be your child’s too!

To help avoid some of the potential negative outcomes, make sure to give the kids the option to participate. Hype it up all you want, but when it comes down to it let them have the final say. It is important to encourage positive habits and techniques to avoid injury. It is great (my personal motto is you should try everything twice to give it a second chance- nothing should have to be perfect on the first try. We are human after all.), especially with growing trends of health in youth, to find ways for your child to stay as active as possible.

On the bright side, when approached with an air of caution and good nature, junior triathlons can be the perfect setting to foster a love for physical activity and competition at an early age. If it is not over-emphasized it can also be a perfect opportunity for some light-hearted fun. Many kids naturally love all three elements of triathlons and this solo-sport can be the perfect place for them to grow and shine. The extent you can push your child will really only be clear to you- each training situation is going to be unique and need different sets of guidelines and expectations. Just take the time to gauge your child, their needs, and their abilities.

Speaking of kids… we have a lot to offer this year to keep them busy while you compete (or before/after they do)! In addition to our Mission: 1K Kid’s Run and our Jr. Triathlon, we are excited to introduce Southland’s Kid Zone in the vendor expo. Here, kids will have access to a face painter, balloon artist, various carnival games, AND a radar game that measures the speed of their pitch! They will also have the chance to make a custom race sign to cheer on their favorite racer!

Whether as a spectator or an athlete, this event truly has something for everyone and is sure to be fun for the whole family. Don’t miss out! If you haven’t signed up already, visit our website www.raceonthebase.com to register! If you have… now you know that you have that much more fun to look forward to!

Race for FREE- Sign up for Southland Credit Union

If you’re like me… you like anything and everything that much more if it is free. Free food literally tastes better. Free movies seem more enjoyable. Free advice is better than therapy. Now, maybe I’m biased, but what would make you like an already great event (like Race on the Base for example) that much more? What if you could participate for FREE?

(Insert drum roll here) Well… you can! What is the catch? All you have to do is create an account with our title sponsor, Southland Credit Union. Sound like a trap? It’s not! It’s true… you have to submit a $25 deposit to open an account. But you can withdraw it. You can keep it. You can invest it. You can make it rain. You can do whatever you want because it is still YOUR money!

If you’re not sold already, I’m going to pitch this idea a little more to you (even though it really shouldn’t require much convincing). Southland Credit Union is an Orange County based credit union with a long standing history in the area. They regularly give back to their local communities through donations, sponsorships, and more. Another great thing about credit unions in general is that they tend to co-op. This means that you don’t necessarily have to do all your banking specifically at a Southland Credit Union branch… you can go to one of their many partners for banking or ATM usage which includes Schools First FCU, 7-Eleven, Arrowhead CU, Altura CU, Visterra CU, and many more! This eases your banking experience and makes everything that much more accessible.

This is a fantastic opportunity… what are you waiting for? Stop reading… go register!

To register, visit www.southlandca.org and click on the Race on the Base link in the scrolling picture menu along the bottom of the page. You can also stop in at their Los Alamitos branch at 10701 Los Alamitos Blvd to fill out and submit a form in person.