I’d like to share a little story with you that happened recently in a school I’d be working with. It’s a simple little story, but one that brought a smile to my face and reminded me of how we need to focus on small, individual achievements when it comes to encouraging kids to take part in fitness.
After 6 weeks of working with a fantastic school focusing on strength, flexibility and gymnastics, we did a quick recap on everything we’d learned and covered in the term. We talked about our favourite parts (and our not-so-favourite parts!) and we discussed what we’d learned throughout the sessions. We’ve covered handstands, tumbled, balances and core exercises so these things topped the list for most kids, but just as we were finishing up, this happened…….
A fabulous lad from 5th class, who had taken part so well in the 6 weeks, quietly came up to me and said ‘Teacher, the best thing you’ve taught me in the last 6 weeks is how to touch my toes. I’ve never been able to do it and now I can. I hated stretching at football because everyone else could do it but this week I can do it too!! Thank you for teaching me to not give up’
You see, for the 6 weeks I was there we talked about how everyone can improve their strength and flexibility and everyone can get better and better with time. I taught them that their only focus was their own ability and not to worry about what anyone else could do. Then I encouraged them to keep going, to keep trying and to keep improving
What we forget to do as adults is encourage the building blocks of fitness in our children as they develop. We also forget that the little things are the big things. It’s not about winning and being the best, it’s about seeing the success in being able to touch our toes!