During this last week I was speaking to a client of mine and he mentioned how his young 8 year old sons football team are already making them do drills. Having played at a high level himself he mentions that they should still be having fun and doing whatever they want with the ball at their feet. And not being conditioned like a professional athlete. This sort of training can easily take the fun and experimental aspect out of football. You want to be in an environment where you can find your own feet and develop your own skills.
I have been asked many time to train children for either weight loss or to add more exercise in their life by parents. Some parents want it to be structures just like an adults training routine. However, children get discouraged by doing things that are too structured and then lose interest. The key is to find a happy medium for the training approach. By adding all the specific movements into the routine but making it fun at the same time. The main approach from the personal trainers point of view is to help the child have fun whilst exercising. Which will develop healthy long-lasting habits for later on in life. Without it feeling like its a chore or something they despise to do.
How to make exercise fun
- Find something a child likes to do and add it into the routine.
- Develop their weaknesses by adding something new to try.
- Add in movements that are fun to do with games like “the floor is lava”
- School playground games are also fun to play. Develop these into your own specific games.
Making movement and exercise fun can be hard. However, when you’ve found something that your client likes to do stick with that. Because then they will look forward to your sessions.
Making exercise fun goes for adults to
As adults we aren’t completely different to children. We are the same just older. If exercise and movement isn’t fun then you will find it boring and probably stop doing it. Just like any other sport or game. I remember a few years ago during a boot camp session of mine we played tag and stuck in the mud. The adults loved it because it was fun and it took them back to when they where children. The first time they had played a game like this in probably 10-20 years. Making the exercise fun with these sorts of games put you on a high for the rest of the session when you might have to do things that aren’t as fun.
However, every individual is different and therefore will want a different type of training structure. Not everyone will want to play these games because they are there to workout not to have fun. I believe exercise can be fun and a hard workout at the same time. You have to find a good mix as a personal trainer but you’ll most often than not all your clients will enjoy your sessions.
Being consistent with your progress will give you the best results
If a child loves to play football for the love of the game and goes about it dribbling up and down the pitch with his mum or dad in goal. They are both having fun, if that child continues that process until he is 14-15 years old he will have all the skills he needs to progress further in that sport. Without being pushed by someone who thinks that he is going to slow with the gradual progression of skills. This is what we get wrong with our children in todays age and it’s also what we get wrong when we become adults. You need a gradual slow progression to get the best outcome long term. That outcome might take years to come to full fruition. However, if you stick to it and trust the process you will get there and see results of improvement along the way.