In our most recent blog, we talked about our interest in the television show American Ninja Warrior and how it has influenced our gym for kids here in Vernon Hills. And, like all sports, American Ninja Warrior has rules. After all, without saying “this person is up now, and they have a goal of traversing the course without dropping into the water,” it’s just a free for all with a bunch of muscled people swinging around on oversized playground equipment all at the same time.

It’s much the same with our kids’ gym. It’s not like a trampoline park, where kids just bounce around. Sure, they’re getting exercise at a trampoline gym, but they’re not exercising their minds and problem-solving skills at all. At our second Hot Ground Gym, just opened in Vernon Hills, we make sure to get the kids the movement they need, but we also focus on four other pillars of childhood growth: teamwork, leadership, critical thinking, and discipline.

It’s these four pillars that set us apart from many other kids’ fitness programs that might only focus on the exercise portion of it. These four aspects of a well-rounded child are shown in our oft-heard saying “role and a goal.” Let’s take a look at how it works.

First Off, “The Goal”

Every sport needs a goal; getting a ball in a basket, running around bases, getting a ball across a goal line. Though it might seem paradoxical, rules actually make sports more fun. In our children’s activities, the goal is to get from point A to point B on our changeable obstacle course, ensuring that everyone else on your team does too.

The most obvious pillar that The Goal exemplifies is “obstacle course fitness.” Kids will use their bodies in order to traverse the course, along with the help of their teammates. Of course, teamwork is another incredibly important aspect of this, because everyone needs to be able to make it through the course in order for the mission to be considered a success.

The mental pillar can’t be ignored here. Kids will get a look at the course and have to exercise their problem-solving skills, as well as their social skills as they use teamwork to figure things out together.

Finally, discipline plays an important role in accomplishing The Goal. Everyone has to listen to the Hot Ground Gym instructors in order to find out exactly what the goal is, and then work with the team leads no matter what their role is. And speaking of roles…

Next, “The Role”

Everyone is charged with keeping the teamwork alive during our kids’ fitness program, no matter what their role is on that particular day. In other words, teamwork is a big part of everyone’s role.

Leadership is another important aspect of The Role. Kids rotate leadership roles, so kids who might be in lead roles in other aspects of their lives will learn the importance of following. Similarly, those who seldom get to lead in real life will be put in leadership roles, to give them a taste of how they can work as a leader in other aspects of their lives. This ensures that everyone gets a chance to show themselves in a different light, and they’ll often find skills that they didn’t know they had. Everyone learns the multiple aspects of working as a team.

Our “role and a goal” method of teaching works well with kids of all ages, because it challenges every aspect of them. Whether they’re trying to problem solve in a group or pushing themselves to their physical limits, it all comes together to make a more well-rounded kid. Want to learn more about our Junior Boots program or why Hot Ground Gym makes such a good kids’ birthday party venue? Click those links to discover more!