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Roller skating is a sport of all ages, even children as young as 4 or 5 years old can enjoy the wonder of this amazing activity. Plus, since skating requires skills that are rather different from those they already have, teach your child how to roller skate will be a fun experience for not only them but also you yourself.
We know that you, as parents, would love to accompany them in exploring this riveting sport, offering helpful guidance and support. So, let us walk you through all the basic steps you need to take in order to teach your child how to roller skate properly.
Choose Suitable Skates And Protective Gear For Kids
How to Choose Suitable Skates
A pair of skates that fit your kids perfectly is the first thing you need to take into account when teaching your child how to roller skate. Choosing the right pair is sometimes of determining importance on keeping your children safe and eager to learn.
Never consider skates a type of toy, no, they are more like your hiking shoes or trekking cycles. Kids need the right boots to spare them from unnecessary blisters, falls as well as to help them progress more easily.
Where to Get Your Children a Pair of Good Skates
Basically, you have two main choices: You can either go for specialized chains of stores in order to get a better guarantee of quality. Or, you can try out specialized shops and stores if there is one accessible around your place.
Quad Roller Skates and Inline Skates: Which One to Choose?
It is another common problem that parents with no previous experience with skating usually face when buying skates for their children.
Quad Roller Skates and Inline Skates are two types of skates available for children or skaters at the beginning level.
Quad Skates, or the Original Rolle Skates
Quad skates are more traditional and are usually more recommended for kids. Quad skates normally hav2 4 wheels with 2 wheels are aligned in the front and the other two in the back. This alignment help people standing on these skates easily find and maintain the balance then on inline skates.
Quad roller skates offer skaters from all ages a feeling of standing in a regular balanced position – similar to wearing normal shoes, the only difference is it has wheels.
Inline skates commonly have from 4 to 5 wheels all aligned in one line.
That all the wheels being arranged in one line would make it more difficult for kids with no skating practice to find and maintain their balance, especially young children.
So if your child is a fresher in roller skating, quad skates are more recommended.
Note: Get the Right Size
You don’t want your kids to wear loose boots, which are very likely to cause losing balance and tumbling over. Similarly, a tight pair is equally inconvenient, as they might cause blisters, bruises for kids as well as adding pressure to their knees and ankles.
The best way is to bring your kids to the store and make them try out in person. However, when there are no reliable shops accessible, you can order them online from prestigious manufacturers and distributors.
One tip might help you here: skates’ size is very similar to ordinary shoes, so just choose them the way you choose your daily footwear.
There are some other things that you should also look into when choosing skates for kids, such features like lightweight, adjustable but still professional. Your kids’ personal preference for color or design is important too since these features may keep them interested in putting on skates and practice.
Protective gear is a must. In addition to skates, you also need to buy guarding items for your kids. They include:
- Wrist protectors, knee pads, elbow pads
It is very important for children to be equipped properly with protective gear. A wide range of research on skating and skating related injuries has pointed out that most of injuries (up to 80%) occurring to skaters can be avoided by wearing protective items.
Prepare Your Child Physically And Mentally For Skating
While roller skating is an amazingly fun form of physical activity, it requires some level of physical strength, stamina as well as perseverance.
If your kids have already endured other forms of sport, there is a higher chance that they may fight skating totally tolerable.
If they don’t have any sport background, to help your kids render skating physically tolerable, you should encourage them to practice some types of exercise which are specialized in strengthening their lower back muscles.
Focus on your hamstrings, quadriceps, and calf muscles to reduce pressure placed on knees when skating. You can easily find tutorials for such exercise on Youtube or other free video-sharing platforms.
Along with physical endurance, children, especially young children, usually need constant spiritual support from their parents on passing their first days embarking on skating. However, if your kids really find roller skating extremely difficult and unsuitable for them, you should respect their decisions. The point here is to make sure that kids know what they want, and always accompany them in their decisions.
Help Your Kids Learn The Basics
In order to teach your child how to roller skate, helping them learn basic techniques is essential.
Teach Your Child to Assume the Right Posture
When your kids practice skating, a proper stance plays a vital role. This is how you should teach your kids to keep the right one.
- Keep the shoulders straight across
- Place the feet shoulder width apart
- Lower the hip so his/her body will lean slightly forward to the ground in a comfortable angle. This hip down and legs bent posture is similar to the squatting position.
To help your kids keep balance easily, you can suggest them to resort to the help of their arms by spreading them to the height of their hips, palms down.
Except for the case of your kids having special gift for maintaining balance, they would definitely lose their balance and fall a couple of times. Just encourage them to practice until they get the hang of it and be comfortable standing on the skate.
Do not think about standing completely still on the skates, it is almost impossible, especially for beginners. Tell your kids to adjust their balance while moving slightly.
Don’t think about it as walking but with wheels on. It is not going to be like picking up your legs, striking the ground and moving.
Teach their kids how to move by shifting their body weight to the left and to the right rhythmically, so it is ideal to play some music to help your kids keep the right pace.
An important notice here is when we said “body weight”, we really meant it. It is not about turning the direction of the lower body, your kids need to turn the whole body from one side to another while still maintaining the correct stance.4
Once they gain confidence, encourage them to start moving more quickly with longer strides. To do so, tell them to apply more force to the gliding foot by pressing harder on it.
Instruct Them How to Glide
In fact, once their kids have got the hang of moving, gliding will come naturally to them.
Suggest them to lengthen each stride they take to rolling for a while. Using each foot to glide until the momentum dissipates then after to the other foot. Practice turning right and left while gliding. Teach them to direct their gliding by slightly leaning their body toward the direction they want to turn.
Teach Your Child Some Tricks
Skating smoothly and fast is cool, but certainly your kids will quickly grow bored of plain skating. In this phase, it is time someone should teach them some really cool stuff.
We personally recommend that a licensed instructor should be responsible for teaching your kids those tricks because they require a higher level of skills.
You could also search for professional tutorials online if an instructor in person is not available in your area. Because the purpose of this article is to help you teach your child master the basics of roller skate, so we will not dive into those tricks.
Consider Registering Your Kids To A Skating Team Or Club
The fun will be multiplied if your kids have friends who share the same skating interest and practice along with them. In this way, your kids not only get more excitement from skating but also make more friends!
Before enrolling your children to a skating club or league, spend some time getting through the introduction and other information about the club to make sure it suits the level and capability of your kids.
Roller skating is one of the most popular sports in the world and with your assistance and instruction, your kids can enjoy the advantage of this amazing sport in a safe and proper way.
Hope that by finishing this article, you can now have the basic idea of teach your child how to roller skate properly!