As a youth fitness and performance coach as well as a personal trainer in Singapore, I see many kids and youth athletes each year. I also meet their parents so that we can work together to get the best possible results for the kids. Here are 3 common mistakes that parents commonly make when trying to maximize their child’s growth and future health.
Too little activity
Over the past 10 years working as a personal trainer and sports performance coach in Singapore, I have found that the most challenging clients to work with are those who did not do much physical activity in their youth. Your child’s coordination is developed before the age of 12 and if it is not done, it will never be. However I see too many children whose parents either don’t know or don’t care for physical education or activity. These children end up being poor at physical tasks, less likely to enjoy them and less likely to do well in them and carry them on to adulthood. Not encouraging physical activity in your child is a good way to make him or her a fat, obese and unhealthy adult.
Specialization Too Early
At the other extreme are parents who want their 8 year old to be the next swimming, badminton, basketball or whatever sport’s world champion. There is no relationship between excellence at 8 years old and becoming a world class athlete.
The mistake parents are making here is sport specialization too early. Before the age of 12 kids should play every possible sport. I like gymnastics because it teaches a lot of coordination. But a large variety should be encouraged. Kids who have a “wide” base of sports skills end up being the best at whichever sport they choose to specialize in future. Early specialization leads to long term mediocrity.
Parents need to take control of their kids nutrition. There are too many advertisements telling parents to buy cereals, juices and breads for their kids to give them energy. Those food companies just want your money. These foods do NOT maximize your child’s potential.
Children need more nutritious food like fruits (not juices), fish, meat, vegetables, nuts as well as natural starches like pumpkins, yams and sweet potatoes. Children who eat these foods are less likely to have attention deficit disorder, concentrate better in class, have less mood swings and are more socially adaptable.
Get your kids in shape with these basics and see them excel in the future!
Coach Jonathan Wong, is a sought after Singapore personal trainer and performance expert who has helped hundreds of clients in Singapore from regular folk to national level athletes achieve their fitness, fat loss and sports performance goals regardless of starting age, fitness level or experience.