Some people only think of bulging muscles and perfected deadlifts when they think of CrossFit. Others think of burpees, wind sprints, and other hardcore workouts few can keep up with. What do CrossFit coaches know about kids you may ask? While you will see top-notch deadlifts and plenty of fit people at Northwest Crossfit gyms, their philosophy applies to more people than you may think. When it comes to fitness, our goal is to cater to those who want to live an active lifestyle and learn about functional fitness. While most of our programs cater to adults, we also offer programs for kids between 8 and 14. If you’re hoping to keep your kid more active this summer, here are a few strategies we find deliver great results.
You can sign kids up for activities, but getting them to actively participate, and most of all have a great time, can be a bigger challenge. A few strategies we use include:
Make It A Game
Musical chairs involves coordination and balance. Relay races get your heart rate up and make you stronger. When you make fitness a game, kids will often come off the court and not realize they’ve been running around for 30 minutes. From obstacle courses, to tag, and a lot more, fun games are a great tool to get your kids up and moving.
Tie It To Their Interests
If your kid likes soccer or basketball but is uninterested in exercise outside of practice, finding ways to encourage activity while playing to their interests is another strategy. If your kid is an active football player, running and speed drills can up their game. If your child is a swimmer, training on land can make them faster in the water.
Find a Role Model
From a young age, kids emulate those who they look up to. Having a positive influence can have a huge impact on kids loving sports. Whether that person is their coach, their sister, Mia Hamm or Michael Jordan, helping your child find a healthy role model who inspires your kid to want to be faster and stronger is a great way to keep them motivated.
Teach Them What it Feels Like To Achieve Their Goals
As a parent, you can sign your kid up for sports, drive them to practice, and cheer for them at games. The rest is up to them. Building a space where kids feel safe to try new things, challenge themselves, and work towards their goals is the best way to keep them interested in sports and healthy lifestyles in the long run. If kids build an understanding from a young age of what it means to work hard, push themselves, and understand how good it feels when they achieve their goals, that’s a surefire way to keep them coming back.
Kids spend nine months out of the year learning about reading, writing, math, and science. Summer is a chance for kids to get outside, explore, and learn outside of the classroom. A few benefits of getting your kid up and active include:
Creating Healthy Habits
A kid’s early years can have a big impact on the rest of their lives. Studies show kids who are active from a young age are more open to new things, are more motivated to set goals, and continue to be active throughout their lives. When you start instilling these ideas in kids from a young age, they can start to understand fitness as a way of life.
Building Strength and Confidence
When kids learn how to work towards their goals, they become stronger and more confident. Fitness is a great tool for empowering children, cultivating their skills, and helping them discover how strong they can be.
Teaching Them Grit
When your kid lives an active lifestyle, it increases physical and mental strength. In our sports camps for kids, we talk about grit and determination. We talk about winning and losing, and how to do both with integrity. We tell kids stories about what it means to to push themselves, work harder, and keep their heads up even when it’s hard. Then, we put those ideas into action by helping children find the strength to achieve their goals. Sports teach kids about setting goals, breaking boundaries, setting expectations and exceeding them. Those skills will serve them well for life.