Many years ago an article was written in a little-known kids magazine about form following function, citing the works and theories of Frank Lloyd Wright (leaky rooftops at Taliesin aside).
Things change, yet those we can impact should change with intention. Guiding kids is not a cavalier endeavor and should include intention, thought and purpose.
As we know the body responds and adapts to the stimulus provided, physically, neurologically and, as epigenetics has recently shown, at a cellular level. Movement provides a framework around which supporting structures are built, some immediate and some painstakingly slow.
As a college student working for a local architect I walked around hundreds of building sites. Never once did I see the roof added prior to the framing. Why would this be, you might ask? The answer is obvious when we visualize this in architectural terms. Just imagine adding weight to an unfinished support structure.
While scrolling through eye-burning, indigestion-inducing Instagram photos and videos of kids being “trained” by so-called experts, why do we see the human equivalent of adding weight to an unfinished support structure literally all over the place? The fact that movement is dynamic only amplifies the issue.
This week I saw a six-year-old being taught to do the devils press with two dumbbells, and multiple children doing snatches without the proper skills to raise the bar to their knees with anything close to a safe position, including spinal neutrality.
Doing what is best for kids requires thinking through all aspects of your program. It includes the ability to communicate to enthusiastic stakeholders about why we start from the basic place of developing movement skills in a tiered system and why we insist on repeating good positions before advancing to the next step.
Build the foundation, add the framework, and inspect it thoroughly prior to adding the roof.
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