In Kids

December 06, 2011

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The CrossFit Journal presents a collection of brief CrossFit Kids updates and stories from around the world.

CrossFit Kids is growing, appearing in schools, boxes and on practice fields across the globe. As the CrossFit Kids community grows, it improves the confidence, athleticism and health of kids everywhere.

Here are some of their stories.

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2 Comments on “CrossFit Kids Community”

1

wrote …

Bravo all around! I'm intrigued by the story of Dan Cerillo's football team, particularly the boys, or the parents of the boys who elected not to train with him. Was there a recognition on anyone's part that they lost a great opportunity or that they were in fact far less capable than their teammates?

I almost posed a similar question when the Kids' baseball article came out a few weeks ago. Sure, the training philosophy sounds great to a website full of CrossFitters, but I wondered how this approach went over with the parents, especially before the results started coming in.

I let the question slide, figuring it might not be an issue, but then we had guests in from out of town. They asked if they could use our community center pool, since their daughter had a swim meet approaching, and her coach was eager for her to keep training. We all had drinks on the deck and proceeded to watch this poor thing slog through 90 minutes of misery - and it was only that much, they pointed out, because she was tapering.

It was all I could do to restrain myself. We have a seven year old ballerina who cranks out deadlift sets with well over bodyweight. Her older sister is a former track and cross country champion.
When the subject of training did come up in conversation, they had even more astonishing news, that this particular team does not allow its athletes to pursue any other school activities. Commitment must be complete.

That was a perfect opening, you'd think. This CrossFit stuff, we began to point out, and hence the giant Rogue rack in the backyard, is an entirely different way to think about sports and training. There's a very thorough scientific rationale behind it, and a tremendous amount of results and data to prove the point.
I was not evangelizing by any means, but the conversation faltered quickly. I got through essentially an elevator pitch of sorts, but on their end was complete incomprehension or utter horror at my blasphemy. It wasn't so much an opportunity lost as it was an opportunity that was never there.

This is all perhaps to say that those of us in the CrossFit bubble are happy to hear of your successes. Is anyone else noticing?

2

replied to comment from Thomas Nunan

Because you referenced my article, Thomas, and because you address a serious issue, I thought I'd respond briefly. I'm hoping Dan C. responds as well given his great experience.

CrossFit Kids was a guiding light for me; the parents were unaware of its influence on my approach and not even the manager knew what I was up to. Most of the parents knew I was some kind of trainer over and a few would ask questions. That was the only time I openly discussed CrossFit Kids and I always encouraged the parents to come check it out. That was by design. I avoided anything that sounded like proseltyzing because I feared the parents would think I was trying to sell them and I've never been comfortable with that role. The manager and I made a decision at the outset not to include any kind of conditioning during practice anyway as it cut into the time we had. My rationale for that is this: CrossFit (Kids) is about process whereas youth sports is ultimately--and problematically--about immediate outcomes. Time taken to teach, eg, the proper squat was time taken away from the more urgent (by parental standards) need for the kid to experience success catching or hitting the baseball.

The lot of the young swimmer in your post aptly illustrates a problem that CrossFit Kids has identified, and my decision last spring to avoid conditioning of any kind was, as far as I'm concerned, a bit ethically murky in that it reinforces the dysfunction plaguing youth sports in the US, one that has far-reaching implications. But what then to do? Big question.

CrossFit Kids is looking at an answer, including the best way to present the argument you were making. The hope is that, over time, this perspective no longer grinds casual conversation to a halt but is taken as obvious.

Happy to discuss this issue with you further (unforgibbon@crossfitkids.com).

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