Active Start

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Boys and Girls Age 0 – U6

This stage sees young children beginning to learn and adapt basic movement and motor skills through various scenarios and environments they are involved in on a daily basis.  Physical activity should be fun and part of a child’s daily life (home, playground, daycare, elementary school programs, community clubs etc.).  The emphasis is on discovery and building confidence of physical literacy in a positive surrounding.

An early active start enhances development of brain function, coordination, social skills, gross motor skills, emotions, leadership, and imagination.  It also helps children build confidence, develop posture and balance, build strong bones and muscles, promote healthy weight, reduce stress, improve sleep, learn to move skilfully, and learn to enjoy being active.

Children should see at least 30 minutes of organized physical activities and hours of unstructured play in a wide variety of sports and physical activity every day.  Activities can be in bouts of 5-10 minutes but, except when sleeping, no more than 60 minutes at a time of sedentary activity is recommended.  Allow children to learn and experiment with basic movement and motor skills in a fun and encouraging environment.


Fun, structured and unstructured activities are used to learn and promote physical literacy.  ABC’s, (Agility, Balance, Coordination) and Speed and Run, Jump, Throw are put into effect.


Promote fun, discovery, participation, and reinforce individual efforts.

Mental capabilities: Fun and enjoyment of the game, participation and sportsmanship, positive interaction with others, and building confidence and self esteem.

Some implications for the coach: Promote participation and enjoyment of the game, provide positive reinforcement for efforts, select activities in which success is almost always guaranteed, progress from simple to complex in a gradual fashion, de-emphasize outcome and encourage fun, and focus on participation and good spirit versus outcome


Participants have at least 30-60 minutes of organized physical activities and hours of unstructured play every day.  Activity can be in bouts of 5-10 minutes but no more than 60 minutes of sedentary activity at a time (except when sleeping).

Nutrition: Promote healthy weight and encourage a variety of low fat, high in nutritional content meals.  Allow child to eat as needed letting him/her use their natural ability to monitor and control food intake.  Participants may need to eat smaller amounts more frequently.  Optimization of hydration is important.

Participants should sleep as much as desired.

Strength and Flexibility: Greater strength in neck and back muscles than abdominals. 

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Sport Canada