Help! I Volunteered to Coach and Am Clueless!

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!

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Dirty Secret School Administrators Don’t Want Parents to Know

Remember the days when you had recess in the morning and either at lunchtime or in the afternoon?  You ran around with your friends, sometimes played games or sometimes played on whatever equipment was on the playground.  Besides us as kids getting a break, the teachers got a break also from standing in front of the class and trying to educate while making sure nobody misbehaved.  Aside from “the bad kid” most days everyone got along and class ran smoothly.

Fast forward to today’s culture of low to no opportunities for physical activity in most schools.  Kids are in class longer, no recess or playtime even at lunch, and a lot more homework than adults ever remember in elementary and junior high.  In fact, taking away recess and PE are now punishments which end up being inflicted upon the teacher because now kids are more riled up and harder to handle.  Now add in the waivers and ease of getting out of PE for worthless reasons like “my child gets out of breath when running.”  Really?  No kidding, what an update.  Maybe your child needs to run in addition to you, Mr. & Mrs. Overweight Parent.

Where does this culture start?  At the top of the food chain, like any other company and organization.  The attitudes of principals and administrators on physical activity and education plays a direct role in how much your child gets daily and weekly.  When was the last time your school’s principal or administrator truly got out and observed PE like they do for math, science, and language arts?  PE teachers need accountability and steps for improvement like all other subjects.  Rolling the ball out and making kids stand in line doesn’t teach them physical education.  It’s recess and lack of caring by the top down.  As parents, you have the right to have PE actually teach something to your children.

What’s the dirty secret all these educational experts don’t want you to know?

Physical activity and true physical education make your kids smarter!

Don’t believe me?  Maybe Harvard Medical School can convince you.

Yep, that’s right.  Getting out of the classroom to move around reduces behavior problems and helps their brains to grow.  Inflicting endless hours of homework and more classroom time hasn’t done us the good they promised decades ago.  The result is higher obesity, higher healthcare costs, lazier society with entitlement, and more “psychological” problems.  All of this can be reduced or eliminated with some fun and movement.  But SSSHHHHHHH don’t tell school administrators this. They still think higher test scores come from Common Core.

Don’t be too hard on them though.  They just need some light shared on the benefits of physical activity and physical education.  Help them by letting companies like Movement Academy shed light on the subject.  In the end everyone truly does win by moving around more.  The conclusion, be vocal with your school leaders to ensure they are maximizing physical activity and physical education.  Let us help you, email us at info@movementacademy.net.

#thoughtfulthursday #education #teacher #school #parents

Dealing With Holiday Blues & Moving Forward to 2018

In addition to being the Sales Director/Partner at Movement Academy and a personal trainer, I also host a monthly show on the Boomers Lifestyle Network which is broadcast live on Facebook the first Thursday of every month at 10:00AM CST, then posted to YouTube.  This month we are talking about how to deal with holiday blues and visiting relatives that are in a nursing home.  How does that deal with movement you ask?  Well, life is always moving forward.  The first holidays without mom, dad, grandma, or grandpa can be difficult.  It is important to recognize these moments of sadness, but not dwell on them for long periods of time to make your own movement forward slowed or stopped.

What your mind dwells on is what becomes reality.  It’s not a new concept in the philosophy and physiology worlds.  People have and do will themselves to sickness and death just as much as willing to living longer and overcoming disease.   Talk about your feelings and emotions with family this year if it is a first without a loved one.  Talk about the joys and happiness everyone shared together over the years.  Your attitude is a key factor in determining how this holiday season goes for you.  You know your relative or close friend does not want you to be sad and put the brakes on all the good things you have going on.  They want you instead to be happy, prosperous and in a growth mode for success in all you do.  If you can’t deal with the grief and sadness alone, seek out a professional who can develop a plan to keep you moving ahead.

The dreaded trip to the nursing home for grandma’s last Christmas is another area of concern and dread.  A good home truly has their best interest at heart and wants this holiday season to be one of their best ever.  Make the time to spend even just a few minutes with them as you talk about great memories.  Your loved one does not want to see you down as their last memory of you before they rest peacefully.  Yes, this is a sensitive topic but one we all have to deal with at some point in life.  Use the counselors and therapists at the nursing home to assist with comforting everyone in the family.  They are professionals and know the best ways to guide you through the difficult times.

As 2018 quickly approaches, how can you use what is sadness now to be motivation for next year?  Take all the good memories and let those memories drive you when the rough patches happen.  Everyone loves the good times and sails through them.  How you manage the rough and down is what sets the top people apart from the other 95%.  Know mom or dad are looking down and pulling for you to be the best and get over the hump that is in your way.  Rely on that strength to give you the extra push when it’s a dark and lonely night when nothing goes right.  Remember, it’s just a night and not a full year, life does change when you work at it.  And yes, it is WORK!!

A little different theme this week, but it is still about moving ahead and being the best version of you.  Check that attitude and get help when needed to keep it on the plus side.  Finish 2017 strong to lead into a better 2018.

#wellnesswednesday

Quitting Sports at 13

#workoutwednesday #wellnesswednesday

Turning 13 is a big deal for kids.  They begin the true coming of age process and their bodies start wholesale changes mentally, emotionally, and physically.  Each child is different on when they start this maturation process as it doesn’t happen the day they turn 13.  With these changes comes more desire for independence and a stronger focus on what a child likes to do for fun, hobbies, and sports.  While all these changes are new and exciting for the child, they are not always so for parents.

Follow the story, your child plays soccer and basketball and has for the past 3 years in each sport.  He or she is above average, has friends they hangout with in both sports, appears to enjoy practices and games,  and is free from major injury. One day your child walks into the kitchen and announces they are done playing both sports.  You are confused and maybe angry about this choice and ask why.  The answer of “I’m just tired of it,” doesn’t satisfy you and you press on for a reason.  Your pressing meets with more roadblocks then a final, loud expression of anger by your child and he or she stomps away to their room.  You are still standing there dumbstruck and powerless, wondering what just happened and why.

Many sources report a 70% dropout rate of kids who quit sports at 13.  This is not a new topic, but still one that continues to hold interest of parents, coaches, and teachers.  In addition, there is not a single source problem or solution.  One aspect that we at Movement Academy address is teaching sports specific skills to soon in a child’s physical development.  We believe in the long term athletic development philosophy of teaching fundamental movement skills to ALL youth until the pubescent growth curve.  The rationale is giving kids a stronger base of confidence and support in being athletic for life, not just playing a high level of competition in one sport.  The Canadian Sport for Life model is the best worldwide model of this.

The financial impact of youth sports is now a multi billion dollar industry, and not especially regulated with a child’s health & safety as a primary goal.  Parents pay 10% and sometimes more of their income for their 10 year old to travel every weekend and practice 4 nights a week for up to 2 hours per practice.  While no science states this specialization at an early age makes children better, it certainly generates more revenue of which sports teams and clubs are not about to give up. Youth sports is now “Keeping up with the Joneses,” and the short intense rush ends up to be a long slow burn.  The enjoyment and fun is too quickly replaced by the win now at all costs.

Wouldn’t it be great to have more recreational sports available till the age of at least 16?  How much healthier would our society be with more kids being active for more years?  Yes, winning and losing are important lessons to learn, this is not about the “participation trophy.”  Instead, it’s about helping youth maintain a physically fit lifestyle where they can have fun playing sports they enjoy, even though they are not the top talent.  Remember, less than 5% of kids get D1 scholarships.  Sure, make wins and losses count, while continuing all the intangibles sports provide, just on a less win or die trying system.  Lots of adult leagues exist in a variety of sports, no need to make a person wait 10-15 years before doing something they truly love again.

The sad truth is money makes the world go round, and this trend of sports specialization from the womb to feed someone’s wallet isn’t stopping soon.  Parents, keep kids in multiple sports for their entire youth and make sure they are physically literate.  You are the frontline and decide if Coach Joe Knowitall gets to coach your child.  Encourage the fun and give your kids proper fundamental training before they go all in on something.  You were once 10, and have memories of what made you love being on the field or court.  Help your kids make those memories last longer and for a lifetime of being fit and active.

If you don’t agree or want to give support, contact Matt Peale at mpeale@ltmacademy.com.  He wants to hear from you.  Also check out his company Movement Academy.

 

Health Risks and Poor Health Symptoms Don’t Wait for January

Thanksgiving is a week away, then Christmas and New Year’s a month after that.  For many people, this mean’s stopping whatever “healthy habits” they had developed in 2017.  If it truly is a habit, then life continues as is regardless of the calendar.  For those not so much a habit, then the insanity of the same cycle begins again.  The gym is less crowded now, eating habits slack off since Halloween, and focus is now on Black Friday.  The unfortunate part of all the “holiday cheer” is your body still requires the same attention now as it did in January, April, and June, when you tried to get in shape for the new year, spring break, and summer.  For those in the over 60 community, another host of health risks continue to move forward when caring for the body slows or stops.

Dementia and memory problems don’t just happen overnight, they are progressive over months and possibly years.  When you actually notice them and go to a doctor, it could be too late.  Lack of exercise, poor diet, and inadequate sleep all are major contributors to when and how severe these diseases are when they strike.  It starts with small lapses like forgetting why you walk into a room, or just a little off balance when stepping out of the car.  You may think it’s a one-time occurrence, but much sooner than you realize it becomes a regular occurrence which you deem natural life changes.  Yes, they are natural life changes, but you accelerated them due to health behavioral changes.  Does all this mean gloom and doom with eminent death tomorrow??  The answer is, no.

We are all humans and prefer the path of least resistance.  In saying that and as I write this in south Louisiana where we LOVE to eat, drink, and be merry year round; be mindful of what you do more as a 60+ population.  Continue working on your fitness with balance, agility, and coordination exercises in the gym, at home, or with friends.  Have a piece of cake or pie, just not everyday, same with a cocktail.  Those who mix in moderation on a weekly basis do not overdose on food and booze during the holidays.  Stroke and heart attack don’t wait for January  1 when you start the same resolutions that end on January 31.

You can’t undo years of abuse and neglect to yourself in one day, week, or month.  You can begin to change the aging process each day and start TODAY!!  Going cold turkey from daily dessert and 3 beers is hard.  Start today by going down to 2 beers and skip dessert every-other-day.  Soon you’ll see small changes and feel better which makes you want to do more.  Practice standing on one leg for 10 seconds once a day, then add a second time a day next week.  All of these small, easily accomplished adjustments reduce your risk of falls, injuries and disease.  Before you know it, your doctor may smile more and possibly take you off one of the 10 pills you take each day.

 

To sum it up, health issues don’t wait for resolutions and a sunny day.  They strike when you least expect it and the damage cannot be reversed.  Literally make today the first day of the rest of your life by adjusting one small part of your health.  1, 5, 10 years from now, you’ll be happy you’re looking down at the ground and surrounded by friends wearing bright clothes, not them wearing black looking down at the ground where you’re buried.

 

For help with balance, agility, and coordination, try Movement Academy this year. We guarantee you’ll stay on your feet and make it a holiday season to remember!

Being on the Frontline of Childhood Obesity

#motivationmonday #childhoodobesity #parents #obesity

Childhood obesity is not a new topic.  It’s talked about on the news, internet, and in print media.  Like a lot of issues, people like to think it does not apply to their family, students, or children.  The fact is the opposite.  It is everyone’s responsibility to teach healthy habits to our youth.  Kids learn how to eat and lead a healthy or unhealthy lifestyle from parents and teachers.  In giving seminars to PE teachers, we stress the importance of being the fitness and health role model just like math, social studies, and science teachers are the role models for those subjects.  The role of PE teachers is changing from a sport coach to a group fitness instructor.  Look at the PE standards coming out on a national and state level.  They don’t emphasize teach kids how to play football, baseball, basketball, and soccer.  Instead the standards emphasize movement and all around fitness.  Remember, only .5% of youth who play sports actually make a living at it on a professional level.  What about the 99.5% of us who have to get real jobs and figure out how to eat and exercise on our own?

The only way childhood obesity can be reduced and eliminated is by being the role model as parents and teachers for healthy, active lifestyle.  It’s ok to enjoy vegging on the couch and having dessert/sweet treats, just not on a daily basis.  Nobody wins when the whole family is sluggish, overweight, and inactive.  PE teachers, are you active and making overall good choices to show your students?  Can you perform the movements properly in teaching your classes?  If a math teacher doesn’t know their long division, they do not stay math teachers long.  If a PE teacher cannot demonstrate movements and be healthy, there is no penalty.  That doesn’t seem right.

Children do not pay for food and put it in the grocery cart.  Children also do not get paid to teach physical education and teach healthy habits.  It does not take drastic changes, just small ones on a daily basis.  Do not buy those cookies this week, instead buy fresh fruit.  Set aside 20 minutes to get your own exercise in twice this week.  Small changes lead to larger changes in time.  Start small and work your way into big, the brain and body will guide you automatically.  Your kids will thank you, I promise!

Can Exercise Improve the Mood of Hormonal Teens?

#workoutwednesday #wellnesswednesday

I am the father of a teenager.  It’s almost like being part of a recovery group for those that have or had teens.  They are moody, stubborn, and know-it-alls.  Sometimes, we think they aren’t even human.  So besides sending them to an island or planet far away from the rest of normal humanity, what can be done to keep the rest of us from wanting to strangle them?  Could exercise help, at least a little?

Believe it or not, the teenage brain functions from the same hormones and mechanoreceptors as an adult brain.  Be it their hormones are raging at a completely different level, they are the same hormones as adults.  When humans exercise, endorphins are released to make us feel good and reduce our perception of pain.  “Runners high” is an example of this feeling.  Our attitudes are more positive and outlook on life for a little bit is much better.  Self esteem improves and our physical appearance is more pleasing to ourselves usually also.  According to WebMD, exercise can be a treatment for depression.  So maybe we should just tell our teenagers to get around the block a few times!

What exercise should hormonal teens do?  If you ask them, their answer is only something that involves texting or watching YouTube.  Obviously we are getting away from that, so the answer is something they can enjoy and sustain enjoyment. It doesn’t have to be high intensity constant motion for 60 minutes.  Going on bike rides and hikes are still fun activities for all ages.  We are all in much better moods after exercising in groups, so make socialization a part of it.  For some teens, poor body image and self esteem prevent them from being more socially active.  Exercising with them can ease their fears and a possible change in their physical appearance is the welcome side effect they are looking for.  When you do physical activity outside, a whole world of additional benefits opens up also from stimulating all of the senses too.

Before we stick them on that rocket to space and ship to the deserted island, let’s encourage our teens by being active with them.  It may not hurt us to lose a few pounds and step away from the devices either.  Consult a doctor if serious depression or suicidal thoughts occur.  For the “normal” raging teen, maybe tiring them out outside like we used to do when they were small, can still be a good strategy.

 

If you have any other strategies for dealing with teens, please share them with Matt at mpeale@ltmacademy.com, so he can help other parents not strangle their teens!