CROSSFIT FOR TEENS
As we approach the summer, and the start of our 8 week “CrossFit Teens Athletic and Self Development Program”, I wanted to share a little bit about what we do in our CrossFit Teens class, and what to expect from the program over the coming months.
The CrossFit Teens class has been running weekly for the past year and a half, and is for the ages of 13-16years. It is the progression on from our CrossFit Kids program, but many of our members have started from new, with no previous CrossFit experience.
CrossFit itself involves weightlifting, gymnastics, and metabolic conditioning. There is a wide range of movements that we teach in this program (too many to list!), and the focus is always on moving correctly, before applying any type of intensity. With the teens class, I have put a huge focus on Olympic Lifting from early on, as these are the most technical and complex movements to learn. Aside from that, the Teens learn how to do many other barbell movements such as deadlift, squat and press. We spend some time each class working on a skill (eg. Box jump, Handstand, pullup) and then have a workout at the end.
Whilst correct movement is a huge priority in each class, the most important part of each class for me is the start – those first 5 minutes. Each week we sit down and just talk about how the day or week has gone (school, exams, discos, friends, family etc..). It gives everybody a chance to interact, and just open up a little bit. I too share what I have been up to on that particular day and it is usually to the amusement of the teens! I remember just how much of a rollercoaster those teenage years can be, between hormones, starting secondary school, exams, boyfriends/girlfriends…peer pressure. It is such a wonderful time of growing up, and gaining a little bit of independence, but on the other hand, a bad day can seem like the end of the world! So I think it is so important to create an environment here, where the teens can talk openly about the good and the bad things going on in their lives. It is their safe place, where there is no judgement, and a great sense of support.
We start the hour off on a good note, and then remind ourselves of some of the rules of CrossFit Teens, the first one being Respect. Respect for yourself and for others. We chat about what we are going to be doing in class, and then we get stuck in! Everyone understands that there are going to be some movements they will excel at, and some they will struggle with. Everyone is different. But understanding this is important, and another of our rules is “No Negativity”. So if there is a particular movement they are struggling with, there is no negative self-talk allowed. Instead, you will receive encouragement and help from the others, and know that there are other movements you are gonna kick ass at! We all have our strengths and weaknesses and it’s important not to dwell on the weaknesses, and rather see them as a challenge. An opportunity to overcome.
So while everyone is putting in the work during class, and having fun along the way, in the background I am quietly trying to instil the following characteristics:
- Confidence. Encouraging them to be confident in themselves and their abilities. Confidence with each lift that they do, especially the more challenging ones.
- Empathy. We share in the excitement of others when they successfully hit a good lift, or achieve something for the first time. We also understand that maybe somebody is struggling with a particular movement or having a bad day, and they might just need a little bit of help, encouragement, a high five or a hug!
- Respect. Respect others, listen when they speak. Respect yourself…no negative self talk! And respect the Coach
- Kindness. Helping another put equipment back, giving praise, showing concern and support to others when needed.
- Positivity. Trying to find the good in every situation. You may not have been able to do a certain movement, but you were a lot closer than you were last week!
I think these 5 characteristics are so important at that age, and leading into adult life.
Confidence is the big one, and this is something that can get knocked quite a lot during those teenage years. And I think we could all use a little bit more kindness and positivity in our lives. A kind deed goes a long way!! 🙂
So this is what you can expect from the Teens classes, as well as gaining more strength, fitness and cool skills!
CrossFit Teens Program runs from Monday 3rd July until Friday 25th August.
Every Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 11am-12pm.
Unlimited: €120 (24 classes) 12 Class Pass: €80 PAYG: €8