Tuesday, April 18, 2017

CrossFit Teaches Grit

I have been teaching middle school and high school students in the areas of biological science, physical education, and health for over 15 years now.  My perception has changed during this time concerning the teenage mindset.  For many many years, I must admit, I thought teenagers were lazy, entitled, and could not focus on any challenging task for more than 5 minutes at a time. Teaching CrossFit to teenagers has radically altered that perception.  Students in my CrossFit class are determined, goal oriented, and gritty.  They rise to new challenges, accomplish and set goals, they are extremely motivated to succeed,  and they push themselves to new limits daily.  Maybe, just maybe, this prior perception didn't have anything to do with teenagers? Maybe they were just a product of an outdated educational system that no longer challenges, stimulates, or motivates today's teenager?  What if CrossFit was an instructional model for our classrooms? Think about it, students competing with each other on infinitely scalable challenging tasks that are measurable and quantifiable.  Meeting the needs of this generation requires a shift in our mentality, a shift that has slowly taken place in my own mind over the last 15 years.  Does this look like a group of students who don't want to work hard? I think not!