Double Kettlebell Swings 50/35,
Wall Balls 30/20,
15 Minute Cap.
A few months ago I passed the 5 year mark formally coaching CrossFit to kids and I have been thinking back to all the lessons I’ve learned in that role. In the spirit of that reflection I thought it would be fun to share with you 4 things YOU can learn from kids about CrossFit.
1. Jump, jump, jump around!
Kids move through life jumping, there’s a reason “bouncing off the walls” is an expression. I’ve talked about this before in a previous post but jumping is so good for your bone health and kids are naturals at this. They seek out things to jump from, over, and on and it’s something we should take a lesson from. There are many reasons as adults we might stay away from high impact loading (jumping, running, etc) but if you’re able to incorporate even a few of these activities your bones benefit. So if it’s something you typically avoid, like you always step up instead of doing box jumps, try jumping to a shorter box or plate next time.
2. Go upside down!
Okay this is another one of those things kids just do naturally and as adults we tend to shy away from. Yet going upside down is so good for us. Being inverted challenges our vestibular system (say what?!). It’s the sensory system which controls things like balance, posture, and spacial orientation. It’s pretty important and kids innately train this system so they can learn to hold their head up, walk, etc. Skills like handstands, bear crawls, and forward rolls, are all great ways to keep this system sharp so again, like jumping, if you tend to skip these try to take a note from the kids and take steps to incorporate them as best you can.
3. It’s okay to FAIL!
In fact it’s encouraged in my kids classes. Failing means you’re trying, failing means you’re learning something, and failing ultimately leads to improving if you let it. I’m always amazed at how resilient kids are with failures and how much as adults we hold ourselves back by not embracing them as part of the process like they do. Yes, trying something over and over and not getting it can be extremely frustrating and oftentimes it’s easier to resign yourself to not being able to do something and always going for the comfortable scale instead. However, I’ve watched these kids prove time and time again that progress is made in the failures so go for the things that challenge you even if it means failing along the way.
4. CrossFit is FUN!
Well, it should be right? I’m not saying that after every wod you’re yelling “ya, that was fun” (I mean you might be yelling but it’s probably not that). However, you CAN make every wod fun. So much of what I do as a kids coach is hiding fitness and foundational skills in play and fun. Kids learn best through playing and when it’s fun they want to keep doing it. I think as adults we easily lose sight of that fun aspect and even with my older kids I have to get more creative to help them find the fun. I’ve gleaned a few simple ways from the kids to help you find the fun in wods that maybe don’t necessarily feel fun to you at first. Cheer for others! Just the feeling of camaraderie alone during a particularly challenging wod can help make it more enjoyable. You can also turn it into a competition either with yourself or someone near you. Whether you watch the clock and try to do the next 5 reps in a certain amount of time or faster than the person next to you, feeding your competitive spirit, even just in small bursts, during workouts can help your mindset. Finally, be silly sometimes. Bust out some dance moves if you’re feeling the music, smile, and don’t take yourself too seriously. Kids are amazing examples of this and watching their workouts always makes me smile.
The kids are exceptional teachers and I’m lucky to have spent the last 5 plus years learning about CrossFit with them and hopefully reading this you learned a little from them too!
Thanks for reading!