- General Athletic Development
At IFAST, we understand the role that physical literacy and movement can play in helping athletes be happy, vibrant and successful throughout their lives. Studies show that children who participate in physical fitness:
- improve focus and productivity in other areas
- perform better on tests
- develop social skills
- acquire sport skills
- build the foundation to be physically active as adults
Kids today have more sedentary entertainment at their fingertips than ever before. We all know the associated health risks, including an increased risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and a host of other bad things. But one of the scariest risks of all? Kids aren’t learning how to move properly at a young age. When they don’t, not only are they less likely to learn these skills later on, they’re less likely to exercise and stay healthy later in life.
At a young age, kids need to learn the ABC’s of movement: Agility, Balance, and Coordination. Whether it’s playing tag, skipping, or balancing on a 2×4, it’s critical that these skills are learned. Giving kids a broad movement base allows them to learn how to move safely and effectively.
It’s scary how often we have to take high-level young athletes that come to us, kids that are superstars on their travel soccer/baseball/basketball team, and we have to show them how to skip or crawl! We help fill in the gaps.
Top youth sports researchers, Jean Cote and Jessica Fraser-Thomas advocate that young athletes should never participate year-round in a single sport. In fact, for athletes trying to achieve elite status in a specific sport, until age 13, 80% of their time should be spent in DELIBERATE PLAY and in sports OTHER THAN their chosen sport. From ages 13-15, Cote and Fraser-Thomas recommend athletes split their time 50/50 between their chosen sport and other athletic pursuits.
All children, regardless of their college/professional athletic aspirations, will benefit greatly from our research-grounded programming. When kids are given the gift of physical literacy, then exercise and movement are fun and engaging. They can take these skills and use them for the rest of their lives, whether it’s in a gym, rec league, or playing with their own children some day. It gives them a chance to be healthy for their entire life.