I was recently asking one of our 10 year old athletes if he knew the last time his bike had a tune up - he asked me what a tune up was, and I told him to ask for one for Christmas. Then I thought how great it would be if all of our athletes had their bikes tuned up this holiday season - how much smoother and faster they would feel on the bike during practice. I realized there was a list of things that I knew would make our kids (and yours) happier triathletes in the new year, so I decided to share it, both for the kids, and the parents who just don't know what to pick...
As mentioned above, a bike tune-up really is a perfect gift for any young triathlete. These boys and girls put a lot of hurt on those bikes, and like any machine they need a little TLC to keep working at top form. Bike tune-ups at Playtri usually start at around $75, though we run a lot of specials if you are able to check our Facebook fairly regularly. $75 includes a full drive train test and clean, cable adjustments, brake and shifter adjustments, safety test, frame cleaning and more!
Ok, we know socks aren't traditionally a "cool" gift, but Swiftwick socks are our all-time favorite socks. They come in a huge range of fun colors and styles, and they do an amazing job keeping feet dry and blister free. Most of our elite program athletes won't train in anything else!
DeSoto Polypro Termal Hoodie Jersey
You don't have to know what "polypro" means to appreciate this fantastic, warm base layer during the winter months. Young athletes tend to have a harder time regulating body temperature, which means that cold practices can be especially difficult for them (particularly if they have a low body fat percentage). Enter the DeSoto hoodie, fitted snugly around the torso and arms with a wind resistance outer layer and a thin fleece layer on the inside. Thumb holes in the sleeves allow young athletes to keep hands warm, while the tight-fitting hood fits perfectly under bike helmets for cycling practice.
Sports Nutrition for Young Triathletes by Bob Seebohar
If you missed Bob's talk last month, not to worry - one of his latest books, Sports Nutrition for Young Triathletes, is available now at Playtri Stores. Bob is known for being consistently ahead of the game in endurance nutrition, but what many people don't know is that he is also a youth and junior elite team coach. He does a great job putting important nutrition ideas and practices into a simplistic form that parents and kids alike can understand.
We won't pretend that a bike is a "small" gift but for young athletes who are already proficient on the road bike, mountain biking can give them a phenomenal boost, both in handling and in power. Fuji makes a wonderful line of youth mountain bikes available at Playtri Stores.
For those new to the tri world, racebelts are inexpensive but extremely effective bands of elastic that virtually eliminate the need for safety pins on race day to display bib numbers (something we can all be excited about). Even better, you can find an official Playtri racebelt at any of our metroplex stores this holiday season.
Yankz! Elastic Shoelaces
Has your favorite triathlete ever ended up stuck in transition because he or she couldn't get those shoes tied? Never again with Yankz! - they make getting in and out of shoes quickly a breeze, and come in lots of kid-friendly colors and styles. Pick up a special Playtri set at any one of our stores for your child this winter so they're ready for those transition practices come spring.
Skratch Labs Exercise Hydration Mix
I'll start by saying it is VERY uncommon for me to recommend anything that could fall in the category of a "nutrition supplement" to youth athletes. However, I have been extremely impressed with the basic Skratch Labs hydration product because it is made with real fruit, cane sugar, and other things you can actually pronounce. I recommend a half serving for athletes under 100 lbs. on a warm day or during a hard workout. Also... it tastes good!
Tri Inspired Jewelry and Key Chains
You're inspired by your kids - and so are we - but what inspires them? If triathlon helps them stay motivated to pursue an active lifestyle, them give them a way to let the whole world know what keeps them moving. Tri Inspired products are available at your local Playtri Store.
If you want to give your athlete the best gift of all, give them the opportunity to "Race with the Pride" on Team Playtri. In 2014 Team Playtri had over 100 active youth triathletes throughout the DFW metroplex, and was the #1 ranked USAT development team in the North Texas area (#20 in the country). Our athletes raced internationally with Team USA and were offered collegiate triathlon scholarships. They volunteered at local races. The qualified for world championships, won XC meets, won road and mountain bike races, excelled at swim meets, and most importantly they stayed happy and healthy. We would love to show your young athlete what it means to be a Team Playtri Lion in 2015. More details at www.playtri.com/youth.
Questions? Email Coach Morgan at firstname.lastname@example.org.