What is your background in Children's Fitness?
I was Lead Instructor at My Gym Children's Fitness Center for over 15 years, working with children ages 6mo - 9yrs. I was also a fitness specialist at various summer camps, including Cali Camp and Fitness by the Sea. Most recently I headed the physical education program at Delphi Academy in Santa Monica. I've been doing private training for over 10 years.
Why have you been successful as a children's trainer?
Results. Referrals. Everything I do is individualized and I work intuitively. The parents see their children transform and the child is encouraged by being able to do things they could never do before. And we all have fun.
Why did you start personal training with children?
While teaching at My Gym, I noticed that there was often a child struggling in a class or not wanting to participate in a game at a birthday party because of perceived limitations. I could see how this was taxing their self esteem and felt that if I could work with that child one-on-one, I could help.
Were you able to help them?
YES. Every child should be able to, at least, participate in sports and enjoy activities/games at a birthday party. Period. The commitment from the parent is as important as my commitment to the child!
How often do you see your 'students'?
Usually twice a week, some up to five times a week. As the children improve they tend to get involved in team sports or other activities and we taper down to once a week.
Is your program helpful if my Child is already successful at sports?
Yes. I do advanced performance training for children who are accomplished in a sport. This type of training is only for motivated athletes who are up for the challenge of strength, stamina and high-level skill development.
What type of 'special needs' children do you work with?
I've worked with children with all sorts of issues, including: gross motor delay; autistic spectrum (including low-functioning and aspergers); ADD, ADHD, and down syndrome. I must say that the results I've seen with low-functioning autism have been miraculous--cognitively and physically. I would also add that a lot of children are just "cerebrally centered" and have physical abilities that are untapped.
How old should I start my child training with you?
The younger the better.
Preschool age is always the best (3.5 and up), as long as they are independent
and can follow directions.
Why is younger better?
The critical time for
brain development is from birth to approximately three years of
age--reaching 90% potential by age five. During this time, neuro-connections
are made--motor skills are also a function of the brain.The most
recent research shows that these "connections" are stimulated by
physical movement in addition to other experiential factors.
Can you explain more about "DMI"?
Maybe :) While fundamental 'sports skills' are important for playing a sport, they are useless if a child does not have the coordination to apply them. I.e., if a child learns to catch a baseball thrown directly to him/her, that's great. However, in a game, that ball will not be directed into the mitt via the assistance of a coach. The player must predict the ball's trajectory, run, make the catch and subsequently throw the ball with momentum affecting all of this. In short, I teach athleticism.
Any success stories you want to share?
Yes. My favorite is when one of my students "Jacob", who has aspergers, made a double play in T-ball...unassisted! He was the only kid in the league to make a double play that year. "Jacob" couldn't take 3 steps without falling down when we met.
What days are you available?
I work after school and all day on weekends to accommodate kids' schedules. Typically I have a wait list for regular slots.The best way to get started, is to find a time we can do an initial session (and evaluation) and take it from there.
How do parents find you?
Mostly word of mouth from other parents. About a third of my referrals come from medical professionals such as pediatricians, pediatric occupational therapists, and physical therapists.
What is the difference between you and an OT or PT?
Generally an Occupational Therapist focuses on fine motor-skills as they apply to home and school functionality; OT's do address gross motor-skill function as well. Physical therapists usually address the recovery of a specific injury or deficiency. My main focus is integrating gross motor-skill function in the broader athletic context so it can be applied to sports and other physical activities. Simply, what I do is an excellent replacement, supplement or alternative to these other therapies when the primary issue is gross motor-skill and/or trunk strength deficiencies.