How we’ve lost physical literacy and what we are doing about it at Sonic?

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.

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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!

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Squats and why we drill them home…

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We spend a lot of time on squats….if your kid is a visual learner Coach Claira is a great example of a well developed squat. Check her squat out in the photo above.  Hips are back, weight is in her heels, chest is up and her knees are out.

Mark Rippetoe author of Starting Strength says it best, “There is simply no other exercise, and certainly no machine, that produces the level of central nervous system activity, improved balance and coordination, skeletal loading and bone density enhancement, muscular stimulation and growth, connective tissue stress and strength, psychological demand and toughness, and overall systemic conditioning than the correctly performed squat.”

Want to know how Coach Claira got there? She works on it EVERYDAY. I’ve been watching her in the gym when we have quiet moments…yes, they exist here. She’ll put in a few minutes on drills working to better her position. Pull her aside anytime and get some tips to work on your squat here in the gym and some to take home when you find those quiet moments yourself this summer.

See you in the gym,
Michelle

Can My Kid Do CrossFit While Participating in a Sport?

YES, IN FACT WE ENCOURAGE IT.

Why?

CrossFit Kids is a strength and conditioning program that combines gymnastics, body-weight calisthenics and weightlifting elements (*weightlifting will only be in our future teen program). The work we do in our gym strengthens muscles around the knees, back, shoulder and overall body preventing injuries and improving movement. We work on balancing out asymmetric movements from more specialized sports that can cause overuse injuries. Kids learn to move their bodies and move them well making them fitter and more resilient day to day.

How do we do this?

CrossFit Kids is constantly varied and based on a number of functional movements. Some of these movements include squats, pullups, pushups, box jumps and burpees. We combine these movements to keep kids engaged and entertained while creating a broad athletic foundation. Kids that come consistently will build up this foundation that they can then draw on when they play other sports.

Kids can join at anytime in the year as all these movements can be scaled to the appropriate developmental stage. We focus on quality of movement before we push intensity.          

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