As a parent it can be daunting to select activities in which to enroll your child. Sports, dance, or martial arts?
What about school?
Kids have a lot going on these days and they also have their own opinions about things.
Having worked as a Strength coach for Chaminade High School, Crespi Football, and a myriad of middle school athletes in sports from tennis to wrestling, I can tell you there are many reasons a CrossFit program is a great discipline for your kids. This can be a great base for kids to carry them into other sports and also develop them as healthy fit human beings.
**It’s important to note that CrossFit for kids will be a very different experience than CrossFit for adults.
There are three main areas kids gain from a CrossFit Program:
CrossFit is great for kids because of the wide variety of disciplines it involves, from weightlifting to calisthenics to gymnastics. Kids brains are like little sponges, itching to make neurological connections and adaptations. These connections in the brain are made in response to stimuli. The more kids can be exposed to when they are young, the more connections and capacities they develop and retain for the rest of their lives. Think of friends you have who did not play sports growing up, unless they have consciously worked at it as an adult, they are probably still somewhat uncoordinated. On the other hand, people you know who trained regularly in athletics growing up still have the capacity to take on new things as adults and display efficient and effective movement with their bodies.
CrossFit is similar to sports and martial arts – it offers valuable opportunities to teach discipline and commitment. Being exposed to emotions such as frustration and disappointment in addition to pride and accomplishment teach kids how to handle challenges with poise as well as accomplishments with humility. These are all skills, though not physical, that will help kids become successful later in life. In addition, I see a noticeable difference in the confidence level of children who have been doing CrossFit. As their bodies get fitter and their abilities expand, children generally become more physically active and less self-conscious in other athletic situations. I have also seen children lose considerable amounts of weight, resulting in a major change in body image and a big boost in self-esteem. This is especially important and beneficial in the pre-teen years.
Fitness as a Lifestyle
One of the main reasons I started working with children is because it was important to me to instill the value of fitness at an early age. It is also important to make sure kids find fitness fun – if children grow up associating working out with being something enjoyable and clearly seeing the benefits to their bodies and health, then they are more likely to keep fitness as a priority throughout their lives. Eating healthy becomes a natural and normal choice and being active becomes something they just do. Enrolling kids in an all-encompassing program like CrossFit also shows children health and fitness is something their parents prioritize and want to educate them about.
The benefits of a program like CrossFit Kids can be long lasting for children, both physically and mentally, and it is a great activity for children to get into at any age. At Lift Off Strength we coach kids from ages 6 to 14. At the younger ages, CrossFit develops their bodies across a broad range of skills. By exposing them to a variety of stimuli their bodies adapt and grow both physically and neurologically. As teenagers, CrossFit is a fun and efficient way for young athletes to develop the strength and conditioning base they need to excel in their sport of choice.
One of the most profound things we see is when an entire family aligns itself with a fitness program. When kids see their parents modeling the behaviors they are asking of their children it becomes easy for them to get involved and have fun VOLUNTARILY. Sharing a love for fitness can be not only a time for your family to bond, but also ensures you happier healthy years together.