Tuesday, November 9, 2010

The next generation - kids

Last week I traveled to California to attend Mindbody University (an online client/business management software we use) and the CrossFit Kids certification. First, let me start out by saying that for once, the weather here was better than the weather there. When I left it was in the 50's and 60's here and it was 97 degrees in Southern California! I was shocked, so were the locals, it was November and almost 100 degrees...we are used to that but not them.

This post is going to focus on the CrossFit Kids certification and the program. I was amazed how much I learned about training kids, ages 3-15 especially. Before this weekend I thought I knew how to work with kids but realized that I really knew very little about them. Training kids is not like training adults.....at all. Many parents and school teachers (like my wife) could tell you that kids are very different in their behavior, their attention span and how to get their attention. With an adult it is easy to keep their attention, and typically adults sign up for our program because they want to improve. With kids, most of them have little desire to "workout".....but what they do have a desire for is to "have fun".

The CrossFit Kids programs divides kids into the following age groups:

-CrossFit Preschool (3-5 years old)
-CrossFit Kids (6-12 years old)
-CrossFit Kids (13-17 years old)

*the ages are not set in stone, sometimes you will have a kid be in a teen class or a teen be in an adult class. It really has more to do with maturity and physical ability than age

Before this certification I would have found it nearly impossible to work with 3 and 4 year old children, but now I am confident and excited to offer these age groups a CrossFit Preschool program. To summarize the weekend, I learned that in order for kids to enjoy working out it has to be fun. That is how you keep them interested and that is how you keep them coming back. More importantly, if a 4 year old works out 2-3 times a week and loves it, and continues to do so at 9 years old....and 12 years old.....and 16 years old.....then, what will they do at 25 years old? And 35 years old? And 45 years old? They will work out! And they will do it because it is ingrained in them and it is something they have been doing all their life. This is unlike kids, teens and adults today, to whom working out is viewed as a "chore" or a "burden".

My new focus in the next 6 months will be to create a successful CrossFit Kids program in our business. I will work with these kids personally and hope to make a serious impact in their lives. I have an idea to offer a program to my wife's head start class (3,4 and 5 years old) for 6 weeks for no charge. To see how the kids respond and more importantly to see if my wife notices a difference in their behavior due to the consistent exercise. I intend on beginning a preschool, kids and teens program in January 2011. This could impact our community and change the direction of many kids lives. If you do not know my story, I grew up overweight and unhealthy until the age of 18 and trust me, I know what it is like to be the chubby kid at school and it is not fun.

Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.
(Proverbs 22:6 ESV)