The school year has gone and summer time is in full swing, so here are two quick things to consider as your kids enjoy their camps and free time outside.
Remember that unstructured play time is just as important as structured training.
"Don’t ever say a child is “just” playing. That's like saying a surgeon is “just” operating or a pilot is “just” flying an airplane. Play is the essence of being a child." - John Rosemond
Sometimes parents are flummoxed when we don't have a strict plan laid out for our PA days, camps or our after school program. "So you don't know what you're doing this week?"
The truth is that the structure is loose. It's usually based around a theme, and at the end of our programs the children have time to get curious and explore what they've just learned or get better at the things that interest them.
They can use their imagination, spontaneity and find self-motivation.
As kids get older and become more socially trained to be another cog-in-the-wheel, unstructured free time becomes just as important as structured hockey practice. It fills a hole that a strict school timetable may not be able to provide.
Stop thinking weight training will stunt your kid's growth
Strength and conditioning specialist Eric Cressey explains this better than we could...
"When your kid sprints, she encounters ground reaction forces several times greater than her body weight.
When he jumps out of trees, those numbers are even higher – and he’s probably landing on a more unpredictable environment.
When she wears a big backpack full of books, she’s actually lifting weights without any coaching whatsoever.
Doing a goblet squat with a 20-pound dumbbell isn’t going to stunt your 9-year-old’s growth. And it isn’t going to turn him into a meathead steroid abuser.
What it will probably do is teach them a lot about the value of hard work. It’ll demonstrate that consistently showing up and putting effort into something can lead to specific quantifiable improvements.
It’ll make them more durable to participate in and enjoy sports – and do so at a higher level than they otherwise would have experienced."
You can read the whole post here.
We would add that most athletes, like wrestlers, tennis players or kick-boxers would rather face someone with slightly more talent than them but who's not as conditioned.
So strength-and-conditioning programs really matter, and yes, they should include lifting weights and unstructured play.
Kevin & Victoria
P.S. Our Fit Kids After School program is now registering at the Danforth and Beach locations for Fall. You can check them out here, and save 50% when you join the Beach program.