Ask any one of our students, what is CrossFit Kids? One word is always given, FUN! But why is so much fun involved in CrossFit Kids? CrossFit as a Fitness regime focuses a whole lot on achieving measurable, quantifiable results. CrossFit Kids is extremely effective as well, we’ve received feedback from parents that their children have experienced weight loss, improvement in their confidence amongst their peers and dramatic improvements in their health. Some have even commented that their asthmatic child no longer relies on the inhaler as often. But all of these benefits have never been the focus, the focus is essentially, FUN! But why?
We are trying to get our kids to buy into the idea that Fitness and Fun are the same thing. When Kids walk into the gym and see medicine balls, pull up bars and plyo boxes, they shouldn’t think of all the PAIN, no, they should think of FUN! From the CrossFit Journals, we have read that this is in accordance to the Hebbian theory (2) to allow for an auto-association of fitness with fun.
It is also vital to understand that the term, FUN, changes over time. Ask an adult class to play a game of Duck Duck Goose and you’ll just notice the awkward reaction that will be directed straight at you. For the younger ones, those under the age of 10-12, the fun is in the games. It’s all about incorporating various CrossFit movements into these games to make it doubly as fun for them. Very often, the first thing the kids do when they step into the box is go straight to the white board to see what game is drawn up! For the Teens, the competition, the desire to push their limits and learn new skills becomes the fun part. They want to be seen as the “In Crowd”, those whom are “Cooler than those who can Parkor”.
But why Fun and Fitness? It’s simple; we want our kids to think of CrossFit as fun, to develop their perception of lifelong fitness. We want them to think that being active and fit is now the in thing, not being socially awkward, stuck in front of a computer screen or an iPad. Imagine a kid whom has been brought up thinking that the best way to get fit is through functional movement and that being able to do a Medicine Ball Clean or a Wall Ball is way better than noticing a few inches of growth in the size of your biceps. Imagine the amount of confidence that mentality can bring to a child and how much that would affect is outlook in the future. (Not to say those who do CrossFit don’t have a good built)
Essentially, what it comes down to is that fun isn’t just the game; it’s the community,
the other kids. Kids begin coming to class because that is where their friends are. They begin to take on a CrossFitter’s point of view of the world.
All of this is important—making the classes fun, developing community, making the box the social center of their world. There is a tangential benefit here, though, one of supreme importance to CrossFit Kids: it buys us time. And time is everything when working with kids.