Tell me if this is you or has been you: “Mom or Dad, be my (fill in the sport) coach this year, please!” You have no clue about much in that sport much less any kind of true fitness knowledge, yet now you’re in charge of 10-15 kids and they expect you to know and show them all how to be professionals. So you ask another parent to volunteer and be your trusted assistant, maybe they have some kind of sports and/or fitness knowledge. Somewhere in your mind you remember your football or PE teacher who coached football, and make the kids do the same warmups you did in high school. The recreation district gave you a book to read and use to teach the sport and some drills, but who has time for that? Each practice you hope nobody gets hurt, no parents yell at you, your kid still talks to you, and you go undefeated by some miracle.
Unfortunately this scenario plays out all over the country, in every sport, every season of every year. What is being done to educate volunteer parents on fitness and age appropriate exercises so kids keep coming back past the age of 13? The answer is not much to nothing at all. The majority of kids do not start at a travel team level and do not advance to that level. Most kids just want to have fun with some friends and winning comes later. With all of the issues dealing with government, recreation district leaders do not invest in providing volunteer coaches with the proper tools to teach kids how to be overall better athletes and develop a love for all sports.
As we all know, the more educated you are in a subject the greater the appreciation you have for it. It is about time recreation districts provide a way for volunteer coaches to be better and have more confidence in leading their teams. With the technology of devices today, a systematic approach to age appropriate fitness can be provided along with the old handouts on a specific sport. That is what my company, Movement Academy, is working on with a sports complex in Hammond, LA. No infrastructure needs to be invested, and all coaches in all sports benefit. Kids are smarter because their brains are stimulated properly, they will stick to sports longer, less injuries occur, and more revenue is generated as a result of all the above.
Recreational sports are the backbones of communities. Kids from different schools meet each other and develop friendships, parents develop new friendships, and lifelong memories are made. It is truly about having fun, learning socialization skills, and having new experiences by playing a variety of sports. Suggest to your rec district leaders to invest in providing volunteer coaches better tools. Everyone wins in the end. For a free report on how fundamental movements improve cognitive ability and reduce injury, call 985-276-9394. Leave your name and email address and the report will be sent to you FREE. You have no obligation to purchase anything.
Everything starts on the grassroots level. Let’s get this movement going today!
We all have heard the classic it takes 21 days to set or change a habit. How many of you have documented proof that on day 21 you have completely learned or unlearned a bad habit? Not very many of you have this proof. One of the reasons is science now tells us after 21 days you barely 1/3 of the way to making that change permanent. In a study found in the European Journal of Social Psychology, it states that changing habits takes 66 days! No wonder it is so difficult to make changes that last.
In today’s “give it to me now” society, 66 days seems like 66 months. What is a person to do about this? Well the range of days is actually 18-254, depending on the person. The point is learning new healthier habits takes work and is not easy. Stick to a challenging yet realistic plan that sets you up for success. If for some reason you do not accomplish the goal for the day, no worries, everything is fine, start again the next day. Continuing to build momentum toward making a permanent change is the main focus and having a bad day or two is just human. With weight loss for example, two to three pounds a week is what you will average out when your weight goal is done. It starts with making better choices on a daily basis and learning from the failures and successes.
The motivation comes from your Why. If your Why is not big enough, your habit will not change. Think about your Why everyday and let it guide you to make those healthier choices of walking, eating less sugar, or lifting more weight than usual. Adding up the small daily wins gives you the huge victory in 66 short days later! Get some support and accountability, then change your mindset to a longer view than tomorrow. A healthier you is loved and appreciated by everyone you have a relationship with: business, family, friends, and personal.
Matt Peale is not immune to bad habits. He hates getting up early to exercise like anyone else, even though he is an NASM Certified Personal Trainer. Contact him at email@example.com any time. Also Like his Facebook page and check out how Learn To Move Academy can help your school, sports team, and Active Aging process.
When was the last time you noticed your child’s or any other child’s range of motion and flexibility? Have you noticed they have problems touching their toes or even ankles with straight legs? In addition to the obesity and sedentary epidemic, there has become a lack of muscle flexibility epidemic. In working with youth ages 8-13 on a regular basis, a large percentage of them male and female have horrible flexibility. Their lower back and hamstrings are so tight and underused they can barely stand on one foot much less bend at the waist to touch their foot. Ask a child to perform a sumo stretch as in the picture below and you will be astounded by what you see.
Flexibility is one of the core components of overall fitness. Yes, it is a use it or lose it skill. Children are more pliable than adults due to their bones still hardening as they mature and hit puberty. With kids sitting and starting at video screens more often, they are also losing range of motion that is extremely difficult to get back as an adult. Does this mean you have to enroll your child in Bikram Yoga? Absolutely not. What it does mean is teach your child some basic warm and cool down stretches as part of their sports and activities. Proper dynamic (in motion) stretching before movement, and static stretching after movement is completed.
While touching your toes is not an Olympic event unto itself, practicing flexibility movements does reduce injuries and is part of a healthy lifestyle. Take a few minutes with your students, children, and athletes to work on their stretches in good form. It’s the habits we instill in them now that change our next generation.
Matt Peale has seen his fair share of kids have the flexibility of a 70 year old as an NASM Certified Personal Trainer. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org and check out Learn To Move Academy for your school and sports organization.
Spending thousands of dollars on a single sport for a child only to see that child get burned out in 3 years, is that a quality time and financial investment? Unfortunately a large percentage of parents all around the United States have bought in hook, line, and sinker into this horrendous brainwashing. The Tulane Institute of Sports Medicine has seen the surgical curve for overuse injuries drop from 18-20 year olds, to 12-14 year olds. Why is this happening? Because kids are being wrongfully told they have to compete in one sport only from the age of 6-8 and up.
When we are talking about long term athletic development, sports specialization does not occur until after puberty. Children are still learning fundamental movement skills to achieve basic strength, balance, and stability. Not to mention their mental capacity to focus on more intense competition is also still being developed. Youth sports has become a big business and has lost its focus on creating a well rounded, athletic child. The importance to win now and forfeit learning has become ingrained way to early in a child’s life.
What can parents do to reduce this one sport win now pressure? Sign your child up for multiple sports while they are young and let them decide what they enjoy. All of the top professional athletes played a variety of sports growing up. It was not until they reached junior high or high school they began to specialize more, and even then they starred in multiple sports. Do not let the pressure of coaches who want to line their pockets be the deciding influence on your 9 year old. Registering them for exercise classes at your gym/health club is another great way to show them alternative healthy activities for those not interested in specific sports. Learn To Move Academy is developing a system for individuals to purchase so children learn these fundamental movements at home. Finally make sure they have fun. Learning winning and losing is important and not everyone is a champion for the season, but having fun in the process is vital to returning for more seasons.
Matt Peale is an NASM certified personal trainer since 2008 and works with youth both as a trainer and partner in Learn To Move Academy. Email Matt at email@example.com with any questions and comments.