Athletes and Thinkers First
Athletes and Thinkers First
Show me a kid who can run like a deer, jump like a rabbit, climb like a monkey, and move quickly from side to side (and absolutely loves the opportunity to do so) and I’ll show you an ATHLETE. Show me an athlete and I’ll show you a kid whose odds of becoming a good player of football, basketball, baseball, soccer, tennis, hockey, or whatever sport they want to play, are excellent.
On the other hand, show me a kid who lacks the ability to run well, jump, climb, and move from side to side (and actively avoids doing them), and regardless of how much they practice a particular sport, I’ll show you a NON-ATHLETE. Show me a non-athlete and I’ll show you a kid who has very limited athletic potential.
In other words if you’re a parent or a coach who wants your kids to experience athletic success, help them learn to LOVE running, jumping, climbing, and moving quickly from side to side BEFORE you teach them to block and tackle, BEFORE you teach them to dribble and shoot, BEFORE you teach them to catch and throw. Help them to become ATHLETES FIRST and players second. (Yes these skills can be actively cultivated, but ONLY if you make an effort to do so.)
In a similar sense, show me a kid who loves to compare, contrast, consider, wonder, question, relate, evaluate, anticipate, and judge critically and I’ll show you a THINKER. Show me a genuine thinker and I’ll show you a kid whose odds of successfully digesting reading, writing, math, science, psychology, political science, economics, or even philosophy are excellent.
On the other hand, show me a kid who’s bored with and dislikes comparing, contrasting, considering, wondering, questioning, relating, evaluating, anticipating, and judging critically and I’ll show you a NON-THINKER. Show me a non-thinker and no matter how much someone else wants them to develop the ability, I’ll show you a kid whose odds of successfully digesting reading, writing, math, science, psychology, political science, economics, or even philosophy are extremely limited.
In other words, if you’re a parent or teacher who wants their kids to experience academic success, encourage their inborn curiosity. Help them learn to compare, contrast, consider, wonder, question, relate, evaluate, anticipate, and judge critically BEFORE introducing them to reading, writing, math, science, psychology, political science, economics, or philosophy. Help them become THINKERS FIRST and students second. You’ll do them a big favor.
Is it Any Wonder Why.
Ironically though, the love of physical movement as well as the love of learning (and the two are intimately related) are both naturally built into the genes, the DNA of most kids. Thus job # 1 is not so much to teach them as it is to cultivate, encourage, and to fan the flames of these natural, inborn tendencies.
The last thing anyone should do is to get in the way or undermine them – which unfortunately is precisely what happens once a child is sent to school for formal, mass produced, assembly line indoctrination. Under these conditions the intrinsic flame dies a quick and unnatural death at the hands of the system. Is it any wonder why we’re headed downhill at such a rapid pace?
Childhood Obesity Prevention/Rehabilitation/Motivation Specialist