The Whys of Athlete Academy Ages 9-12: Proactive Flexibility
You may have noticed a theme with these posts, they all center on kids not being able to get out and play the way they used to. The next step in our Athlete Academy program for ages 9-12 over the summer will be to work on some proactive flexibility.
You may be wondering why I am prefacing that with the word “proactive”. Here is why - as kids get older, their time sitting in class and sitting on the couch increases. Ever notice that a toddler walks around endlessly, can squat down perfectly to pick something up, but a 15 or 16 year old has to kneel down or bend over at the waist to do so? Its because of two things: growth and lack of movement in functional patterns.
That’s why in this 6-week summer program we are looking to offset that. Kids sit at desks all day which shortens their hip flexors and stiffens up their upper backs. Combine that with growth spurts that make connective tissue suddenly inflexible and you have a recipe for a child lacking in mobility. Those who are in athletics will notice declines in performance, and those who are not will notice compounding problems that will make any active activity much more difficult.
That’s why our goal is to correct the problem this summer before it even becomes a problem. We have kids in our high school program now that are seeing just how major the benefits are of increased flexibility and mobility. Imagine if they didn’t have those restraints in the first place?