Young, Smart & Fit
Program helps youth member train for his dreams
One day Oliver England, 13, would love to play in the National Hockey League. He also wants to be a cinematographer and a financial investor.
Lakeshore Sport & Fitness in Chicago has been able to help Oliver get on a path to at least one of those dreams.
Oliver is enrolled in a youth training program at Lakeshore, where he attends personal training sessions and learns the benefits of exercise, how to properly move his body and what he can do to improve his overall health.
Prior to getting involved in the training program, each child has to complete a certification course. The program, which costs $50, teaches kids how to use equipment, what kinds of exercises they could be doing and proper gym etiquette. Children ages 10 to 14 can participate in the certification course.
Carey Schueler, the director of the youth program and a senior personal trainer at Lakeshore, said the program has been a huge draw for parents who want their children to be more involved in a routine outside of school.
Once kids complete their certification, they have the option of moving onto personal training. According to Schueler, about 300 children have completed the certification, and about 100 have been involved in the personal training aspect of the program.
Oliver was one participant who moved onto personal training. Schueler has now been training Oliver for about two months. She says that to successfully train teenagers and even younger kids, she has to make it fun and constantly keep things interesting.
“They can do a routine a little more if we’re doing something fun or if there’s variety,” she said. “I’ll say, ‘If you get 50 reps with the jump rope you get two minutes where we can just talk about the latest Playstation game.’ I try to really engage them while they’re also learning some really important and basic functional movements.”
That strategy has worked for Oliver so far. He played soccer and hockey before enrolling in Schueler’s program, but didn’t really work out outside of practice and games. Now, he has seen improvements in his stamina, strength and overall love for exercise. He even ended up going to a gym to work out while his family was recently on vacation in North Carolina.
Oliver’s mother, Elizabeth England, who originally had the idea of enrolling her son in Lakeshore’s youth training program, said she’s seen a huge energy boost from Oliver when he works out with Schueler. Her style of training is something that England is particularly thankful for.
“Oliver has said to me that since they’re talking the whole time, he sometimes doesn’t even realize that he’s working out,” she said. “She’s having him work really hard, but because they’re having a relaxed conversation, it doesn’t feel like it’s painful.”
During training sessions, Schueler and Oliver talk about anything from their shared favorite football team (the Oakland Raiders) to video games and school.
Now Oliver says that his dream of being a professional hockey player is more attainable because he knows more about how to move his body and which exercises will benefit him the most. “It shows me what you get out of certain things,” he said. “Basketball can give you endurance. Pushups and stuff can give you strength. It’s hard to work out by yourself and stay entertained, so I’m glad I have Carey.”
As a result of the youth program, Lakeshore Sport & Fitness was introduced to not only 300 youth (potential future full-time members), but their parents as well. By offering a youth program, you could equip your club with a major advantage by appealing to prospects and members looking for a family fitness affair, and potentially help children like Oliver work towards their fitness dreams.
By Ashley Scoby