Play & Fitness
By Jeff King, MA, CSCS In part 2 of my series on training kids for sports, I discussed the importance of injury prevention, and specific solutions such as increasing work capacity, improving stability through movement, and addressing muscle imbalances. In this final...
With winter temperature dropping, it’s more important than ever that youth follow a proper warm-up before PE class, sports practice, or any other physical activity.
Below is a “plug and play” program for the first 15-20 minutes of your class, camp, or training sessions.
The program below is ideal for 6-12th grade, but can be adapted for younger kids as well.
We start with letters.
We learn that each letter had a sound.
These sounds can be put together in to words.
Words can then be put together into phrases, paragraphs, stories, and novels.
Pretty soon, we’re reading.
Literacy is developed by breaking down complex arrangements of words into their fundamental pieces.
Day 1: Exercise Challenge
By the end of the day, your family has to complete a total (added together) of:
1. 100 jumping jacks
2. 100 push-ups
3. 100 sit ups or crunches
4. 100 burpees
Day 2: Team Dinner (No Microwave)
Today, your family challenge is to choose a recipe and everyone has to make some part of the meal. No microwave allowed!
Sadly, it’s time once again to put away our team USA soccer jerseys and wait another four years before soccer becomes a central theme in the American sports conversation.
It’s not that team USA doesn’t have talent. We continually improve our showings in international contests. Many of our national team players have made significant talent contributions to elite foreign teams.
After all, Americans grow up in an athletic culture that offers a variety of competitive advantages.
Many of us grew up with the “Presidential Fitness Test” that was designed by President Kennedy to create a higher standard of fitness for American youth. These tests assessed the product of a physically active youth culture that was further refined through frequent physical education classes.
Things are different now.
Currently, our youth have demonstrated a significant decrease in play and movement based leisure time activity. Furthermore, only about 4% of America’s schools have daily PE.
The lack of movement and movement education has left our kids with a physical fitness detriment. Scores on these traditional tests have been on a significant decline over the last 15 years.
The key to keeping children engaged and coming back for more is to make it fun! Set the tone the minute they walk in the door and bring them up to your level of enthusiasm. Continue the workout in the form of games that will address all your fitness goals and teach competition as well as cooperation. In part 2, I will discuss the importance of children taking ownership of their sessions and how it can be achieved through the technique of peer coaching.