When programming exercise, just as life, everything must have a purpose. You need to go about it with deliberate intentions –

  1. What is the goal/focus
  2. What did we accomplish
  3. What did we learn.

The focus:

Our last day of Kids Athletic Development Program was focused on three things

1. Stability/Balance

Balance is a component of fitness that is often overlooked. For a skill so critical to athletic development as well as everyday activities, it’s necessary  we educate its importance and role in proper functioning. This was the topic of Thursday’s lesson during our Kids Athletic Development Program. Many associate balance with wimpy exercises forcing you to stand on one leg and close your eyes. While yes, this is balance, it is far more extensive.

2. TeamworkCOR Painting Logo

Kids need to be challenged. Actually, we all need to be challenged. Of course, I hoped to push their body to it’s limit, but more importantly I wanted to show them that the only way to do so is as a cohesive unit – as a team. This requires communication, constant feedback, and engagement at all times. The kids weren’t only challenged physically, they were also challenged mentally (#3).

3. Creativity

If we are creating a foundation of a life-long, healthy lifestyle it is necessary to be creative. We must teach kids to always challenge themselves to find a way, and then take it a step further.

We fished off our last workout at KADP with a challenge.

If we are creating a foundation of a life-long, healthy lifestyle it is necessary to be creative. We must teach kids to always challenge themselves to find a way, and then take it a step further.

There will be times when these kids can’t afford gym memberships. Five years from now school work will pile up. Put a job and social life on top of that – how are they going to find a way to still incorporate physical activity? Then there’s family and balancing a career, will they have the time to fit in a workout?

YES, they will.

In a world where we always seem to find excuses, we want them to see a way.Jonathan exercising kids

What we accomplished:

One piece of equipment. Two hours. Four kids.

While they discovered that a workout doesn’t have to mean running laps on a treadmill or lifting weights, they took away much more.

They were forced to maintain engagement and constant communication for two hours. However, it wasn’t myself forcing them. They saw the challenge at hand and discovered for themselves what was required to accomplish it. In order to challenge each other as a cohesive unit they were forced to use their imagination. Once instructed on the proper form and biomechanics, it was up to them to figure out how to work together to make the exercise work.

The moment I knew we accomplished the task at hand wasn’t when they started sweating, or even when they worked together. It was in the last 10 minutes of the workout.

We were running out of time and I told the kids we weren’t going to have enough time to finish. Without a second of hesitation the kids collectively grouped together and teamed up to find a way to finish the workout! Now, I gave them full permission to skip the last round…and they wanted to finish? Together they found a way to partner up on the piece of equipment for the last strength component round and combine the exercises

…this meant that they had no rest between sets.

As a unit these kids teamed together, used their imagination, and were intrinsically driven to find a way to challenge themselves. This exemplified everything that I hoped for them to gain. That is definition of accomplishment.

What we ALL can learn from this:

One of my favorite quotes comes from Mihaly Csiskzentmihalyi, he says –

“The pursuit of a goal brings order in awareness because a person must concentrate attention on the task at hand and momentarily forget everything else. These periods of struggling to overcome challenges are what people find to be the most enjoyable times of their lives” and “By stretching skills, by reaching toward higher challenges, such a person becomes an increasingly extraordinary individual.”

They knew three things going into this:

  1. The task (the focus)
  2. They possessed the skills and potential to accomplish this (this was emphasized!)
  3. The challenge presented (…this wasn’t going to be easy!)
  • I cannot emphasize more that these kids are the highlight and a perfect example of growing through conquering clear goals and tackling any challenge presented. However, I had my own goals and challenges when presented this opportunity to run the camp for the first time. There were goals I had for them and the structure, challenges in creativity and programing, and skills I had to employ. Not only were they accomplishing so much, but through them I was as well. We can all take learn something from any experience, even when we aren’t the ones directly involved.*

Written by Amanda Presgraves, COR intern.