Why would I sign my child up for CrossFit?
Did you know that some CrossFit boxes host programs for children?
But seriously, WHY would you EVER send your child to a CrossFit Class?!
I know that every CrossFit owner, Coach & Athlete has heard the gamut of negative misconceptions around their programming, and you probably have too. So, if there is such a stigma against adults participating in CrossFit, then why in the world would you send your kid to the gym?
Let’s put all the dismissive & false assumptions about CrossFit aside and look at 4 reasons why A CrossFit Program can be beneficial for your child:
1. It’s available for almost all ages
Did you know there’s a full CrossFit Kids Certification that Coaches can obtain? They specifically learn how to hold classes that are safe & appropriate from ages as young as 3 years old!
For generations, most gyms have adamantly agreed that any individual under 16 years old is a liability. Therefore, all children aren’t welcome to participate in fitness activity or strength training until they meet the age requirements.
And yet, the CrossFit community knows that exercise is one of the core foundations for long-term health and wellness. The sooner an individual can implement exercise as a routine practice, the higher the chances are for that person to live a life full of abundance and vitality.
Although a controversial topic, strength training can start at any age. Toddler-aged children can build their core strength naturally by means of running around outside, creating obstacle courses out of couch cushions, and scaling to new heights on the playground. To the common eye this simply looks like play, but in reality, it’s strength and mobility training.
So, what happens when these opportunities are regulated due to safety concerns? Or the frequency of this type of “play” is decreased due to educational demands?
Parents are always looking for ways to keep their kids moving, engaged in society, and away from the ever-growing concerns of “screen time”.
CrossFit Kids classes can counteract these limitations by giving your child a safe space to grow their muscular and neurological strength, even at an early age.
2. It builds confidence
As a parent/caregiver myself, I understand most of us truly and deeply desire for our children to be healthy, happy, fulfilled, and self-confident human beings.
Exercise, under the right guidance, reframes the ideals that a body should “look” a certain way. Instead, it focuses on the body’s ability to *function* a certain way.
If your child can grow up with the confidence in the way their body moves through life, just imagine what they can accomplish.
When an individual at the gym successfully performs a challenging skill that they have been working on over time, that sense of pride and self-achievement translates into their daily lives. They have a greater ability to approach life’s challenges knowing they have the skills to succeed. Even if it takes time, with concerted effort and dedication, any goal can be reached.
To have the ability to feel empowered by one’s own strengths is something everyone can stand behind.
3. It is as competitive as they want it to be
Speaking of self-confidence, our current culture (with its bombardment of toxic beauty standards and overly competitive youth sports programs) is not necessarily the optimal model for 90% of the youth population. Imagine living your whole life feeling that you need to obtain *Top 10% status* or you’re completely invaluable.
It’s no wonder competitive exercise is on the verge of being completely “canceled”. But what will that do to the overall wellbeing of our society?
There is not a single physician out there that would claim it is beneficial for children to be sedentary. Yet, with the only opportunities for your child to MOVE being youth sports programs, the occasional 30-minute gym class at school, and, depending on their age, a 15-minute recess after lunch, what do you do for your child? Especially if your child doesn’t connect to youth sports?
Get them into a CrossFit class!
In contrast, maybe your 12-year-old LOVES baseball, and has been playing every Spring since they were 5 years old!
Awesome! What do they do during the other seasons?
Are they predominantly a baseball player?
If so, do they cross train?
Get them into a CrossFit class.
It doesn’t matter if your child is looking to be a professional athlete one day or if your child simply needs more positive, intentional movement to maintain a healthy and functioning system.
CrossFit classes meet the individual where they are at, meaning your child can achieve the amount of weight and repetitions they are comfortable with WHEN they are comfortable with it.
Will they be introduced to ALL of the movements and encouraged to try them? Yes, and it’s up to them to decide their own boundaries. Everything is “scalable” and each step has positive results. It’s up to them to progress at their own pace in an environment that holds space for them to do so. There’s no “winner” or “loser”. It’s a personal journey.
Another perk: if they can confidently set their own boundaries for their bodies in the gym, just imagine what they will be able to do for themselves in social situations and relationships in the future.
4. It’s a sustainable habit that can last a lifetime.
If a child can start CrossFit in structured, safe, organized, nonjudgmental and fun classes, they don’t ever need to stop.
They will never be “cut” from a team for not performing well.
CrossFit gyms are EVERYWHERE, meaning no matter where life takes them, they can always find a box that they resonate with to continue their journey without missing a beat.
Again, all workouts can be modified to fit the athletes age and ability. There’s always something to work on to keep it interesting.
As they mature into adulthood, they’ll understand the importance and benefits of exercise, so most likely they will want to keep going for their wellbeing.
Growing up within a fitness environment, they may never feel discouraged walking into a gym.
It all boils down to this. CrossFit is an exercise program, with athletes that train at every age, experience level, and intensity you can think of. It’s a practice that promotes positive movement and exercise, while reframing the perspective on how a body can function optimally; both in the gym and in daily life. It’s an environment that encourages self-empowerment and confidence. And it is something that can be practiced for a lifetime!
If these are benefits you want to see for your child as they grow through life, then don’t hesitate to enroll your child in a program.
In fact, I know of one available locally! EverProven Treehouse Kids Summer Sessions and Camps are enrolling NOW! Email [email protected] for more info!
Yours in Health!
Dr. Mackenzie Cooledge