People love doing things they can do successfully and physical fitness activities are certainly no exception to that rule, especially when it comes to young children learning about their personal values towards fitness.
Success is a wonderful thing in any realm, but particularly in fitness because too often we learn early about what we can do and what we can’t do and we take that learning with us throughout life. Uh, it’s kind of a sad tale to say that, you know, our society is not particularly fit and if we’re ever going to change that, we’re going to have to educate kids and graduate kids who feel positively about themselves in the fitness arena. Students come to you with a tremendously different background. Fitness potential is genetically controlled about 50% of it, 40 to 50% is dictated by their genetic makeup. So some kids come out of this shoot with great advantage and some of them come out of this shoot, uh, handicapped and unable to do as much as they would like to do. I think it’s important to remember that every youngster would like to do well.
Every youngster would like to succeed. But there are two things that you want to really be focusing on when it comes to fitness.
Number one is that it’s a successful start for them. They first learn about fitness experiences and they, first thing they learn is that it’s hard and by the time you get them into third or fourth grade, every time you say, let’s do some pushups, they’re grunting and groaning and saying, oh no. Um, well that means they didn’t start on a positive note. So there are a lot of things we can do to make them, uh, uh, successful in fitness settings and certainly fitness challenges are one of them. Uh, I’d encourage you to go to Dynamic PE ASAP and take a look at the fitness challenges, um, that are there, that allow all youngsters to pick something they want to do. Because the second part of creating positive experiences in fitness is to allow them to make some decisions about the workload they can do and so if you offer them a bunch of different fitness challenges and allow them to pick and choose and do things where they feel successful, there’s a good chance that you’re going to have kids who love fitness and who think it’s a positive experience and will take that with them throughout life.
Fitness is a very personal matter. It doesn’t matter how much your peers can do. And of course uh one of the things I’ll always tell youngsters is mind your own business. Don’t be comparing yourself against somebody else. There will always be those students who can do more than you and always be peers who can do less than you and that doesn’t make you better or worse. Uh, deal with who you are. Do the best you can and just keep at it. Have a little grit. Keep trying it over and over and over. I teach kids that repetition and refinement are certainly important elements in becoming fit. So make all experiences successful. Allow student choice and I think you’ll raise a bunch of students and graduate a bunch of students who feel positive about fitness.