Working with kids has significantly influenced my beliefs about my role as a CrossFit coach. Designing and implementing appropriate programming for children and teens has really honed my general training skills. Unlike with my adult clients, who are responsible for making informed choices, it is not a child's or teenager's job to monitor my input and direction. There are special responsibilities inherent in working with younger populations. The kids I work with need guidance and boundaries, and they rely on me to help them make gains safely and wisely.
Connor and David were my first CrossFit Kids experiments. My son Connor started doing CrossFit workouts with me in November of 2003 when he was 12 years old. It was just something fun and challenging we did together--kind of a natural progression from our common training in Kenpo Karate. Connor immediately went at it like a bulldog, which became our CrossFit mascot at my gym, BrandX, and he regularly humbled me during the workouts. I posted regarding this on the CrossFit website in November of 2003: "Finished today's workout at 14:50. My 12-year-old son finished about 30 seconds faster. Just a little humiliating having your son stand behind you saying, 'Come on, Dad, you can do it.'"
That would become a way of life for me. Shortly after Connor started crushing me in workouts, his best friend David (13 years old) began to join us. That gave me two teenagers to chase, and it was then that things really began to get interesting.
David and Connor both possessed a natural competitiveness that made them embodiments of Coach Glassman's statement that "Men will die for points." Only these weren't men. They were boys. No deep voices, no surging testosterone, no adult muscle mass. Just kids with a desire to work and excel. I rubbed my hands together and chuckled. This was going to be fun.