Teen Athletic Training by Luke Manetz
When I was first approached about instructing the Teen Athletic Training Program, I was very eager to get started. This program is especially close to my heart, as when I started at iNLeT Fitness, I was the same age as the kids in the program and I was chasing the same result the program offers: increased athletic performance.
The program focuses on four major aspects: mobility, speed and agility, strength, and endurance. As the first session grew closer, I became increasingly nervous. I found it difficult to write a program for this specific age group as I wanted the workout to be challenging, but not impossible.
I anticipated a very loud first session, as I know kids in this age group tend to have a ton of energy, so I knew I would have my hands full. But, the first workout was not at all what I expected. I was pleasantly surprised at the work ethic this group of kids possessed at such a young age. I expected to have to motivate and push them to work hard, but that just came naturally to every single one of them. While there is naturally some goofing around and some fun every session, they are all able to distinguish the time for relaxation and fun, and the time for work, which is a great skill to have.
Another thing I didn’t expect to see was such an immediate team bond between everyone. Even though I instill some friendly competition in these sessions, everyone roots for each other, and all the kids do a great job of encouraging their fellow teammates, which I was so excited to see. However, nothing compared to the act of teamwork I witnessed during my last session.
A boy in my training program had come to me during the beginning of the class and let me know he wanted to try to lose a specific number of calories during the session. His mom had purchased a MyZone heart rate monitor for him so he was able to track the calories he burned. We went about the session and worked extremely hard to get him to his goal. He was determined and even sacrificed portions of his rest times to do extra reps to bring him closer to his goal. When the end of the session came, he unfortunately was just shy of his goal. I stepped outside briefly to greet the parents as the kids gathered their things, but when I stepped back inside what I saw filled my heart with joy. All the kids were clapping and shouting words of encouragement as they all sprinted around the Tribe room together, trying to get the boy to his goal. It took them an extra ten minutes, but every single kid kept running until he hit the mark he had been striving for.
This experience made me realize why iNLeT Fitness is so unique. It isn’t like normal gyms where you put your headphones in, get your workout done, and get out as fast as possible. iNLeT is a place where people can come together and accomplish their goals as a team. I think that is truly what the fitness community is all about: providing support to others when it is needed, giving that extra push to someone that may not have enough strength to continue without it. This experience is something that I will always remember, and it will be a constant reminder to always strive to uplift and encourage others when you can.
The funny thing is, I was approached to teach these kids, but I ended up learning from them.
Teen Athletic Training meets Monday and Wednesday evenings at 7:00 pm. You can join for both days or commit to 1x a week. Ages 12-15. No membership required. Questions about teen athletic training? Contact Luke@inletfitness.com.