For many kids, the appeal in fitness is for bragging rights.
“I can deadlift 100lbs;” or “I can front squat 35lbs”!
While achievements such as this should not go unnoticed, we must first ask ourselves some basic questions. How old are these kids? Have they been trained with proper technique and remained consistent in their form for a long period of time?
Establishing a technically sound base of movement mechanics while remaining conscious of what is developmentally appropriate is fundamental to keeping a child safe and moving well within the gym. After all you wouldn’t build a house without a solid foundation. So why would we allow a child to attempt a one rep max without first building a base of solid technique? Simply put, I wouldn’t.
Athletes earn praise for consistent technique work. Kids love to hear that I am impressed at how their knees stay in line with their toes or their back angle was amazing. Out of the box compliments shift the focus from the amount of weight they think they should be lifting to the quality of the movement they are performing.
Classes are designed so that everyone is aware of what movement or skill is being performed with emphasis being placed on technique. Being upfront with kids at the beginning of each class will keep unrealistic expectations at bay and set each participant up for a successful session!