Before opening our new training center at Wilson Park in Clemmons, my partner and I participated in Forsyth Family’s Summer Camp Expo. We displayed some of our fitness equipment used at our exercise facility. One apparatus displayed was an agility ladder that can be used to enhance speed, quickness and balance. For years, I have used the ladder while training middle school and high school athletes. It normally takes several weeks for these athletes to master the basic fundamental steps before moving on to more advanced movements. My partner is a trainer for the U.S. Olympic speed skating team. His travels to elite training centers in various countries along with trips to the U.S. training facility in Salt Lake City, have allowed him to witness training that begins as early as three years of age. He pointed out that it’s best to install athletic memory at an early age.
This concept was very evident at the expo. The stepladder and box jumps were big hits among the children, many between the ages of three to eight, and they watched my partner perform on the ladder and then executed what the coach did. I was amazed at how proficient the kids performed a new skill. The coach explained to me that, at an early age, kids are like sponges. They watch what they see, process mentally and then perform without having to think. It goes back to my coaching days when I remembered saying, “You are thinking too much. Just go out there and play.” I was sold that we needed classes for kids of all ages.
It has become a problem in our fast-paced society that our children are spending more time watching TV and playing video games than they spend running and playing. Parents should limit TV, video gaming and computer time. They should set a good example by being active themselves. Competitive sports can help kids stay fit. Children need at least an hour of physical activity every day. Just like parents, this makes them feel better about themselves, feel more ready to learn in school, keep a healthy weight and sleep better at night.
Starting activity with your kid at an early age will not only encourage a healthy lifestyle, but it can also lead them toward success in sports down the road. For information on our Kids Fundamental class or setting up a good home program for you child, contact us at Wilson Park Athletics and Training Center.
Wilson Park Athletes and Training Center is located at 7505 Topsider Drive in Clemmons. For more information, call 336.766.8989, or visit the website at www.swfll.org/index.cfm.