There is lots of talk out there about what is going on in youth sports. I find a new article to share on our Facebook page almost daily reinforcing the need to get our kids moving in healthy, fun and multifaceted ways. This is what we are doing at Sonic.
Early sport specialization and year round one-sport play we see kids doing today is like having our kids pick a college major before they’ve had a broad and general education. There are soccer majors, gymnastics majors, rowing majors, football majors etc. They are becoming too specialized before they’ve learned the ABCs of physical literacy. They become experts in an area of movement, but at what cost?
So what is physical literacy?
Children who are physically literate move with competence and confidence in a wide variety of physical activities in multiple environments that benefits the healthy development of the whole child.
The most important message about CrossFit the media is not sharing about the sport is that it is broad and general. It’s an excellent place to work on physical literacy for all of us but even more important for kids who are still growing and developing and need to develop their entire bodies.
The sketches below explain some principles of physical literacy further. There are a number of skills required to be physically literate. These skills include: cardio endurance, stamina, strength, flexibility, power, speed, agility, balance, coordination, and accuracy. Each sport demands a set of these skills in different levels of importance. You will see below sketches of different shapes that represent the set of skills for CrossFit, Soccer, and Gymnastics. We have soccer players that come with amazing agility, gymnasts that come with flexibility that seems un-reachable for most of us and runners that can keep trucking along forever. These shapes below represent the importance of a skill for a sport. In CrossFit, we are trying to form a balanced system and looking to create a circle, representing well rounded fitness. We will most likely never be as strong in one area as someone in a specific sport. But, as we progress in CrossFit we are always looking to push the circle out in balance. There are times when one area may get ahead but we then work to bring the others up to that level.
So, what does this mean for kids? For kids not involved in organized sports, we give them a space to develop physically in a well rounded way. And for kids that are spending a lot of time in one sport, we work to bring up all the other areas that get overlooked at practice that may not seem important for that sport but are very important for the development of the child.
Feel free to ask any of us further questions. We are always here to help.
See you in the gym!