–by Jenn Casey, Youth Program Director
As a coach of adults here at CrossFit Kennesaw, I hear someone say a version of this sentence at least once a week:
“I wish CrossFit had been around when I was a kid!”
We have SO many conversations about this topic. Our members have shared with me specifics, that if they’d had something like our Youth Program at CFK, they’d:
- Have kept up with an active lifestyle when they got out of school and moved into the work world
- Have more lean muscle mass
- Know how to move well, without having to relearn how to do that later
- Feel more confident and capable at handling all of the craziness that life throws at them
- Be better able to keep up with kids, pets, take care of their own older family members with more ease
- Feel and look good in their own skin
- Still be able to do “cool stuff” like double unders or handstands
I think one of the reasons I hear this so much is because I am also the Youth Program Director here at CFK. They see me and my assistant coach (a former CrossFit Kid herself) working with the kids in our Youth Program several times a week. They watch what the kids, ages 7-19, are accomplishing in their classes. Our adult membesr truly understand the kind of head start these kids will have in adulthood.
What do the kids do in the youth classes?
Our youth are doing the same kinds of things the adults do: they run, jump, push, pull, lift stuff off the ground, lift stuff overhead, sit up, burpee. Just like our adult members, sometimes they do these things well; sometimes it’s a challenge. Sometimes they encounter something that is (currently) impossible, but they try anyway.
The kids experience the same feelings the adults do, too. They are SO excited when they acquire a new skill like jumping rope. Sometimes, they feel challenged or frustrated. The kids learn to try again, that the movement doesn’t have to be perfect, that getting better comes from trying your best, consistently over time.
In the nine years our Youth Program has been around, I’ve had the opportunity to work with hundreds of kids in our little area of Cobb County, Georgia. Teaching a good squat, helping kids find an activity they love that will help them stay active in the future, providing student athletes with critical cross-training, coaching several sports, making up crazy games, laughing and having fun together . . . I love working with each and every kid who comes to our program! It’s a really fun job!
In this series of blog posts, I’m going to attempt to define and share with you the answers to the question: WHY CrossFit Kids?
The answer is in the WHY. Whole. Healthy. Youth. I’ll break down each idea in future posts, and will also share with you my thoughts on what the current research, sports culture, and more is saying about how an active life NOW will help kids have a better future.
Jenn Casey is a CrossFit Level 2 Trainer, Brand X Professional Youth Coach, Kettlebell Sport Masters Athlete and Coach, and a homeschooling mom of three teenagers. Questions about our program? Email Jenn at firstname.lastname@example.org.