Kids build resilience, determination and confidence through fitness.
By Korey Kalman
Los Angeles is a bustling city, full of dreamers, artists, entrepreneurs, and relevant to my professional career, many children looking for avenues to channel their boundless energy. It was from this perspective that I founded the Got Game Camp, a popular LA summer day camp catering to kids aged 4-14, and placing fitness at the heart of building life skills.
One of our many mottos at Got Game has been: “competition builds confidence.” But what does competition have to do with fitness, you might ask? Everything.
From the earliest days of childhood, we teach our kids the importance of social skills and teamwork. We desire for them the gift of confidence – an asset that will serve them throughout their lives. And while these skills are invaluable, I’ve come to understand that they’re all-so-often cultivated through action and finding something to focus on that brings joy and excitement.
Taking action results in succeeding and failing, but it’s through this process that our kids build resilience, determination, and yes, confidence. Fitness is no different. And adults are no different. Turns out, the only difference between kids and adults doesn’t lie within the catalyst of taking action or finding something we love, but instead, it’s the limiting of beliefs that too many adults hold that’s preventing such action. Kids try almost anything and everything. Adults? Not so much.
The hardest part of any fitness journey is taking that first step toward positive change. I am no exception, and I’ve never been a ‘go-to-the-gym’ type. In fact, the very idea used to make me cringe. Instead, basketball became a love of mine, and a way to be social and physically active. To me, nothing was more fun than going to compete and play some basketball with friends, with obvious fitness benefits. From time-to-time, I would add a few exercises after the workout. It served as a silent metamorphosis – the more I committed to fitness, the better and more confident I felt. And this positivity extended beyond the court.
Fast forward to today, at 37, while I still relish a good game of basketball, it doesn’t come quite as easily! I recognized the need for more strength-building, so I did something that I once deemed impossible: I joined a gym! And not just any gym, but a 6am class 2x per week routine – a decision that even took me by surprise! The results? An unexpected love for early morning workouts, the peace of dawn, and an unparalleled sense of accomplishment before the day truly begins.
It’s easy to get caught up in the whirlwind of responsibilities, dedicating your time and energy to nurturing and providing for yourself and your family. But the truth is, caring for oneself isn’t selfish; it’s necessary. Why? Because the state of our well-being directly translates to every aspect of our lives. It’s like they say on the airplane, in the event of an emergency, put your mask on first before assisting others.
Physical fitness is not just about appearance or even solely about health; it’s about mental wellness. When we take the time to focus on our fitness, we’re experiencing the importance of discipline, perseverance, and dedication. But even beyond that, regular exercise has been linked to improved mood, increased energy, and reduced stress levels.
By prioritizing our fitness, we’re equipping ourselves with the emotional and physical stamina to tackle the challenges of everyday life. The more balanced and energized we feel, the better we can achieve our professional and personal goals.
Sometimes just starting with something new is the hardest part, but for me, that’s the example I want to set for my child.
So whether you’re an adult trying to rediscover your fitness journey or a parent hoping to instill a love for activity in your child, there is no right way and the path is unique to each individual. It’s that feeling of accomplishment (and noticing results) after taking the action that is undeniably addicting. My personal experience was that the hardest part was just starting, and that the hack to staying consistent is finding the joy and love in it. We can learn a lot from our kids!
Korey Kalman is the Owner of http://www.gotgamecamp.com