Top Tips To Start Your Youth Exercise Program Today
More than one-third of American youth were overweight or obese in 2008 according to the Center for Disease Control. About 50% of today’s youth are still not getting the adequate physical exercise they need. In order to combat the childhood obesity trend, youth exercise programs are on the rise and getting national recognition. Including the most widely covered program, Let’s Move, started by the First Lady herself, many organizations are beginning to realize the value of starting these youth exercise programs and the existing market. Here are some tips from successful starters of youth exercise programs so that you can know the ins and outs when working with the younger population.
Tip #1: Have a tactical plan. Include both financial goals and marketing goals, informs Richard Newbery, Director of Operations for Galileo Learning and former CEO/founder of Kids For Life from the United Kingdom. Make sure that the program makes financial sense to conduct depending on how many kids will attend, how much to charge for the program, and your proposed clientele’s demographics.
Tip #2: Get Connected. Network with local schools, organizations, and other youth programs in order to meet people, parents, and kids to further help market and promote your program, advises Cory Nyamora, Psychologist, Coach & CEO of Endurance – A Sports and Psychology Center, Inc, an organization that provides psychotherapy & sports training and travel.
Tip #3: Know Your Population. Newbery recommends limiting your youth population to a particular age range due to the various cardiovascular and physical abilities present at different ages. Also, different aged youth learn at different levels, so working with a particular age range can assist with stamina and educational style.
Tip #4: Be Flexible. Nyamora states that sometimes programs or lessons need to be adjusted and modified due to physical needs of the youth or their learning styles. Be prepared to be quick on your feet and instantly revise your plan.
Tip #5: It’s A Family Affair. Both Newbery and Nyamora agree that you are not just working with the youth, but working with the parents, too. So make sure to include them in the activities as much as possible so that they can recognize the importance of your program, support it, and participate in it to further help their youth reach their physical and educational goals.
True success arises from empowering others and watching them personally achieve something. Nyamora benefits from seeing the youth accomplish something that they didn’t think was possible, such as finishing a triathlon, and he also enjoys all the steps that the child took to get there during the training sessions. Newbery also gets motivated when he sees how excited the kids are and the excitement spreads to the parents, too, and expands beyond just physical activity where the child has emotional and educational knowledge and success. So are you ready to empower our next generation? Time to get up and “Let’s Move!”
Sarah Koszyk is a Registered Dietitian and Nutrition Coach at Eating Free, an online adult weight management program. She also provides in-person nutrition coaching at a private practice, MV Nutrition, in San Francisco, CA, where she specializes in sports nutrition and adult and pediatric weight management. You can follow her on Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn.