We have just finished our first month of this terms Activate Kids classes and it has flown by! As many of you know by now our kid’s program is associated with The Brand X method which is the world leader in youth fitness and youth fitness education. The programs that we receive from The Brand X increase physical literacy and athletic capacity in your children while considering the whole child. Whether your child is already involved in sports or not, our program is uniquely designed to cater for kids of all ages and ability. Our current kid’s program is regarded as a foundational necessity for youth development and health, not just a class to pass time for children.
These past 4 weeks we have been focusing on each child achieving efficiency in basic foundational movements, for example, the squat, the hinge, the lunge, jumping, landing and many more. These basic movement patterns are essential in not only every sport, but also in daily life activities. Increased sedentary behaviour combined with lack of unstructured play, outdoor exploration and increased sports specific training have left massive gaps in what was previously expected as natural and normal movement acquisition in our children.
We have a wide range of ages and experience levels within our class this year which has made our classes great fun. Some of the kids have been with us for several years whilst others have only begun which means different stimuli are required for each child’s progressions. A typical class currently looks like this:
-A quick game to gather the troops and blow off the cobwebs after the day at school.
-A specific warm up with the intention of prepping the body for the session ahead.
-A learning component: This is where the main learning of the class takes place. Brand X has specifically programmed the steps in the teaching of the foundational movement patterns mentioned above, with kid friendly cues that allow them to gain a better understanding of the movements with language they are accustomed to. This is also where the most coaching is involved due to the range of experience and ages, as previously mentioned. For example, with the deadlift some kids are still achieving efficiency in the movement, so they are doing drills with the PVC pipe. Others have progressed onto kettlebell deadlifts whilst others are doing barbell deadlifts, all depending on where they’re technique and understanding of the movement is currently at.
-Next up is the ‘work’ component of the class. This involves taking the movement worked on in the ‘learning’ component, pairing it with other exercises and putting them together into a workout, where intensity is increased, and we get to burn off some energy.
-Following this we like to spend some time learning another skill, which in the last few weeks has been a focus on a gymnastic exercise called ‘skin the cat’. The reason I have picked this exercise is that it is one that requires trust and self-belief. In the beginning the child often requires assistance in getting into the upside-down position, which is where they need to trust me to help them. The next step is placing their trust in a classmate to assist them instead of me. Lastly once they have gained enough strength and self-confidence, they eventually go on to do the exercise themselves. It is one of the kids’ favourite exercises, as well as mine, as they get so excited when they do the exercise by themselves, and you can clearly see how proud they are of themselves.
-Lastly, we always finish with a game. Without the kids even realising it the games incorporate a movement pattern or a skill which we are focusing on. The intention of this is learning through play, which is at the heart of The Brand X Method philosophy.
I have been overjoyed by the progress every child has been making this term and cannot wait to see it continue over the next few weeks. We have plenty of fun planned for the coming weeks including our Halloween party next week – I can’t wait to see all the costumes! We will also be hosting our first Bring a parent day on Nov 9th, which I hope many of you can make. I will be emailing the details of these in the coming weeks so be sure to keep an eye on your emails.