Young Athletes provides space for mental and physical growth

Contrary to popular belief, CrossFit isn’t just for adults.

In fact, there are programs for children beginning at age 3 and ranging to age 18. One such program, Young Athletes, allows 13 to 18 year olds to focus on plyometrics, speed and agility, olympic lifts, squats, deadlifts, bench press, conditioning and strength.

The program has been beneficial for Aidan Staples, a 13-year-old who plays baseball and runs cross country.

“It’s a fun way to get stronger,” Aidan said. “It has helped me so much in my other sports and it is so easy to stay motivated.”

Aidan’s mother, Beth, says she has noticed improvements in both Aidan’s confidence and his performance.

“His confidence level has grown by leaps and bounds,” she said. “It’s amazing what being proud of himself has done. It has been very evident in baseball that his strength comes into play both in his batting and fielding. He has become much quicker on his feet. He has already cut almost two minutes off his two-mile time in cross country this year.”

As a CrossFit and Young Athletes coach, Corey Streich interacts with athletes of all ages on a daily basis. He says he has seen Aidan come out of his shell and gain confidence in the past year and a half, all the while always striving to improve.  

“If he misses a lift or struggles with something, he doesn’t dwell on it,” Corey said. “He asks what he needs to do to get better and then sets a plan on how he’s going to make it happen. You can see the wheels turning in his head as he does it. He strives to lift heavier and be faster and will do whatever he can to make that happen.”

According to Aidan, coaches like Corey have helped him to push himself and to improve lifting techniques.

“They are constantly helping me because they believe in me,” he said. “They have helped me make sure my form is correct and I feel confident to go heavier.”

One reason that Young Athletes is beneficial is that the younger that children learn good, healthy habits and techniques, the more likely they are to carry them into adulthood.

“Basic movement has become our nemesis as a society,” Streich said. “From being sedentary in school to hunched over a computer or phone, our general posture and movement have suffered immensely…As we get older, bad posture and movement practices are harder and harder to break. The younger we can get them into good habits, the better off they will be when they are older.”

It is not necessary to be in a sport in order to take part in Young Athletes.

“On top of the strength and conditioning it provides, it provides an outlet for athletes who may or may not be in a sport to learn to move correctly, get stronger and ultimately become confident in who they are as a growing individual,” Corey said.

The next session of Young Athletes begins Monday, September 11 and ends Friday, October 20. Class times are 7 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays.

For more information, contact Corey Streich at corey@crossfitrepo.com or Mike Powell at doc@crossfitrepo.com.

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