Parents often struggle with which type of sport or youth exercise program is right for their kids. They also struggle with the question of: “how much is too much?” Equally important to consider is getting them in shape with a general conditioning program to improve their overall health, ensure safety and better performance when participating in sports and playtime.
There is a right way and a wrong way to go about exercising, working out, and especially performance training whether you are an adult or a child. Many feel its even more important for young children to be coached and trained properly. This is because working with, training, and coaching children is creating their foundation for sports, fitness, health, and even their lives as they grow and mature into young adults.
We have an epidemic in our country and it is slowly ruining our kids’ lives. Our kids are becoming less active and unhealthier!
Enter Our Youth Exercise Program: Fit & F.A.S.T.
The Lake Country Training FIT & F.A.S.T. Program is our solution to this epidemic! Our FIT & F.A.S.T. program is a two tier program.
The first tier is general fitness “FIT” for kids (and adults) of all ages and abilities. The “FIT” goal is to get the participants into better “shape.” Along with getting stronger, improving cardiovascular health, self-confidence and self-image we also want to help improve their work ethic.
The second tier is “F.A.S.T.” which stands for Fitness – Agility – Speed – Training which is geared toward Speed & Agility Training.
Matthew makes each youth exercise program session fun which is extremely important for the kids! Matthew also can coach kids of all ages, abilities, needs, and goals. Whether your child loves sports or not he/she will have fun in Matthew’s Fit & F.A.S.T. Classes. Your child can become a better athlete, build their body, increase their speed, enhance cardio-vascular health, get in better shape, improve self-confidence, develop a more positive attitude and self-image, and build a work ethic that will they will carry with them for their life.
It is vital to keep kids ‘in shape’ for sports by making sure they’re doing aerobic activities like walking, running, and swimming. Ideally, children (like adults) should be doing at least 30 minutes a day of a moderately intense physical activity. Those who are already more active may benefit from more vigorous exercise. The aerobic training should be strenuous enough for them without making them gasp for air or stop exercising. Most of all it should be FUN!
Because children of various ages and stages of development differ in attention spans and physical abilities, you should let them gradually build up to this recommendation. Younger children may need to exercise in short, stop-and-go rounds similar to those that happen naturally in most sports activities.
Stronger muscles help kids improve their performance and protect them from injury. To strengthen muscles, kids need to do exercises that make the muscles contract by means of resistance. These types of exercises include weight-training or “body-weight” exercises such as push-ups, sit-ups, pull-ups, and tug-of-war.
Under the supervision of a trained coach, children can participate in a strength training program several days a week. Check with your child’s doctor about what specific exercises are appropriate for your child.
Though most kids are pretty flexible, they should still stretch before and after sports or fitness activities to prevent injury. The best time to stretch is the cool-down period, after the kids have gradually slowed down at the end of their activity. During the cool-down they should stretch every major muscle group — in particular, those they used most for the exercise. They should hold each stretch for 15 to 20 seconds.
Speed & Agility Training
In addition to kids needing to be more fit and in better shape for all the obvious reasons, Youth Sports and Youth Athletics are gaining popularity at an earlier age. They are also becoming more competitive at an earlier age and like it or not that only increases as the kids age.
We believe that its crucial to establish proper movement patterns at a young age. By learning and practicing efficient movement patterns we reduce the risk of injury, promote body awareness, and improve overall self esteem – all are important for athletics and life.
All athletes begin with all body weight exercises. By using body weight at first we can focus on proper techniques and establish proper movement patterns. Athletes who have mastered form and technique will be progressed to more advanced exercises and movements, they will also be progressed to using equipment such as bands, tubing, dumbbells, medicine balls, etc. to provide more resistance to movements.
When coaching a youth exercise program we focus on developing and improving kids abilities in the following areas such as sprinting, stances and starts, acceleration, cutting, basic and advanced agility, foot speed, leverage, explosiveness, testing drills, balance, coordination, overall strength, change of direction, lateral quickness, 1st step speed, proper running and movement mechanics, and core strength.