It can be difficult to manage a large group of children, so Nichole DeHart of CrossFit Kids offers a host of tips to trainers working with young athletes.
“If there’s one kid in there who can sense you being hesitant, he will lead the rest of your class and they will all feed off of your lack of confidence,” she says. “So you have to be able to take control and take command of that class.”
It’s also important to be positive and energetic, and it helps to communicate with kids on their level. Sarcasm is not a good idea, and yelling usually doesn’t do much for kids. It’s important to be a solid role model who works hard to make every activity safe and fun.
Nichole also suggests some strategies for dealing with well-meaning but overzealous parents who jump into the session with coaching tips for their son or daughter. As passionate as these parents may be, they can derail your training,
“We want the enthusiasm from parents,” Nichole says. “We absolutely want that enthusiasm. But during your class time, it’s your class time.”
Additional reading: Will CrossFit Make American Kids Smarter? by Lisa Bakshi, published Jan. 26, 2009.