Teenagers are a fickle bunch. They really don’t want to do anything unless it’s what they want to do (which is hang out with their friends and sit around all day long, watching Netflix, playing video games, or just reading a good book in bed). They are at that awkward age where they are trying to figure out themselves, what they want to do in this world, and why they exist. Heavy questions for only having on average about 15 years of experience.
CROSSFIT AND TEENS
Enter CrossFit. CrossFit began as a way to get in shape. Period. It would have been cool I think to have been there at its inception or to have participated in the first CrossFit Games where it was nothing but pure fun and a good time.
Fast-forward a decade, and CrossFit is a serious sport with professional athletes. While this is fun to watch, the vast majority of CrossFitters will never be at that level — and most don’t want to be.
However, the problem arises when this mentality of being the best, pushing yourself, and actually caring about WODs is thrusted upon teens, who, honestly, could give a shit most of the time. Granted, there are those serious about it; but, to be truthful, they have time, and most of them know that.
THE LOCAL CROSSFIT COMPETITION SCENE
I enter CrossFit competitions because they are fun. That is it. If I win, great. If I come in last place, great (I must admit, there have been CrossFit competitions where I have secretly hoped to come in last place so I could leave early).
As a parent, I want to share this with my daughter, who likes CrossFit, but at this point, just does it for fun (and to spend time with me, but she’d never admit that).
As someone who can never find a partner for whatever reason, she and I have become partners in several CrossFit competitions. We usually enter scaled so she can do the movements. In one that is coming up, we have entered Open, mainly because I thought this CrossFit competition had a scaled division (just found out it does not).
In local CrossFit competitions, the WOD’s are released as the CrossFit competition nears. This gives the die-hards time to practice (I never do cause I don’t give a shit), and it gives those who are on the fence about signing up an opportunity to decide.
Back to the whole point of this article: so this local competition is not programmed at all for teens. In fact, I will be doing the majority of the work. This is incredibly frustrating: 1) I would like to be able to walk the next day 2) my daughter does not get to experience the whole experience of the CrossFit competition when I’m doing the vast majority of the work. Plus, this is no fun for either of us.
PROGRAM CROSSFIT COMPETITIONS FOR TEENS!
But the real point of this CrossFit rant is that no CrossFit competition is programmed for teens (even when it’s a teen CrossFit competition). It’s programmed for 17 & 18 years olds who are a world away from 13, 14 & 15-year olds. As a parent, this is beyond frustrating. In fact, I’ve had several words with several CrossFit competitions (who all probably hate me, too) about this very fact. If you’re not even using CrossFit Open teen standards to program for teens, then there’s a problem.
I believe firmly this is why CrossFit teens programs at local CrossFit boxes remain stagnant. You cannot coach or program teens like you do adults. The focus needs to be in just getting teens to the gym, working out, and going home feeling like they did something. The passion will come later when they actually care.
My fight will continue as I am utterly incapable of not voicing my opinion. My prayer is that CrossFit does wise up, return to its roots, and just get teens moving (this is good advice for adults, too).
And programming a CrossFit competition with teens in mind would be nice. But so many CrossFit boxes are afraid if they don’t put on a good comp, no one will come back. I believe the opposite is true. When a CrossFit competition is all-inclusive, your CrossFit competition will grow (as will your membership). Contact me today!