Go EARLY!

My Mom is a teacher. Although officially an “administrator” now, I still think of her as a teacher, who just happens to have graduated to an adult-size chair. As my kids got older and I took a more keen interest in their education (in truth, like most things I went “all-in geek” trying to figure out how to give them a love of learning), I began to have talks with my Mom. Although we both possess a certain kind of “energy” (arguably un-diagnosed hyperactivity disorder) that keeps us from sitting still long….we occasionally talk about development and education and how much power sits at the feet of the teacher/coach. They’re good talks which often end up with her shaking her head, asking why I didn’t want to become an educator – that is, until we try to imagine what me in the midst of a parent-teacher conference with a “helicopter parent” might look like….at least it always ends up with a good laugh.

It was probably those talks that opened the door to other conversations. It’s the ones that she starts with “I have an idea”…..which, (not-unlike those from me that start with “so, I was thinking…”) should probably evoke a visceral shudder in the listener, that usually wind up being worthy of a story.  This time, it was several months ago….and it was related to a fundraiser for the school:

Her: “I had an idea….Do you think a PT-led intro to Speed/Agility/Quickness for little ones would be good?” (Bait)

Me: “Sure, there are tons of things that could help ‘little bodies’ move better under the header of SAQ to make them feel like the big kids?” (Nibble)

Her: “Well…we’re doing an auction-fundraiser….would you be willing to design & donate a class with me?” (Hook)

Me: “Um…sure” (teach a man to…be Filet-o-fish)

And so, after a few months and with some help from a few of the members of my team at Pro-Activity we corralled a group of 8-ish year olds (10 of them) into our room….and not only did we put them through a “combine” (age appropriate of course) which they loved; we also had a chance to give movement instruction to some bodies who might benefit in the future.  They had a blast being active….and we got to see, up close, how quickly we can have an impact on curious minds who want to learn and grow.  Within an hour:

  • There were changes in the way bodies moved.
  • 8 year-olds had an understanding of heart-rate and why it might matter in sport
  • A group of little ones began to make connections about motor efficiency.

Imagine the possibilities:  What if, beyond gym class, every child had the chance to move well….to learn to leverage efficient movement for greater returns in their area of interest – Not only athletes.  Musicians might be able to support their instruments better or longer. Artists might hold their concentration longer….and the list goes on.  Imagine the possibilities – I know I am.

It starts early,

Mike E.


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