June 01, 2008
Picture this: A coach yells "Three, two, one, GO!" and then kids are racing across the field, dropping to do 15 push-ups and 10 air squats, racing to the other side of the field for 20 streamline jumps (jumps up in the air with arms fully extended overhead) and 10 crunches, running again and cranking out 10 burpees, then making one last run across the field to complete 30 jump rope jumps. "DONE! What's my time?" This is not your average dryland session--this is CrossFit for kids.
I am a coach of young swimmers. Watching some kids attempting to swim butterfly, I noticed something that needed immediate attention. The swimmers cognitively knew and understood what was required to swim butterfly correctly, but they lacked the required strength, coordination, and flexibility needed to maintain correct technique over a distance. After some deliberation and thought, I found my answer: CrossFit Kids. The program is perfect for dryland training for them, and it can be worked into water sets to build the athletes' abilities and to keep things interesting and new.
CrossFit is based on three fitness standards: Standard 1 addresses ten recognized physical skills (see list below); Standard 2 addresses the fact that fitness is about performing well at any task under any conditions; and Standard 3 addresses training the three metabolic pathways that provide energy for all human action. Training in all three pathways is required for top performance. (See "What Is Fitness?" )