Working with kids to help them reach their full potential

I’m pretty excited to say I have my first Private Kids Coaching 1-on-1 student! Yay!

So I thought I’d take this opportunity to explain in a bit more detail what I do.

From a distance, it may simply look like two kids just playing (me being the big kid!) but the reality is there is so much more than just play happening.

The first contact I have before I start working with a child is with the parents. This initial chat helps me understand who I’ll be working with; such as the child’s personality, health challenges, general likes and dislikes as well as gathering information around why they think their child needs to train with me.  Communication with parents is an extremely important element of the children’s training so we know we are working towards the same goals and are on the same page.

We then tee up a 30min intro session where I meet the child, chat with them and introduce them to some games and natural movements. This is a chance for me to get to know them, to make a connection, and to see where they’re at physically and emotionally with movement – I can see what they’re capable of and what needs improving.

From the first moment I meet the children, I am mentally taking notes of how they interact, for example, are they shy, excited, tired, uninterested etc? This initial meeting often dictates how I am going to interact from then on. Say they’re really shy, I need to back off a bit to try and build rapport and earn some trust. If on the other hand, they’re excited and friendly, I need to match my intensity with their excitement level.Once I think I’ve established some rapport with them I start to introduce them to my games.  These games are suitable and modified to suit their current needs and ability level.  At this point again my mental notepad is working over time. I’m noticing how they’re responding to the game, if can they do it easily or with difficulty, if they’re getting bored or frustrated, and how they’re moving in general. If I detect some consistent movement struggles, I will give some suggestions on how to move a little better, than allow them to try again.  I find with children, it’s not about movement perfection, but allowing them the space to develop better skills.  One of the goals of the sessions is to get children outside playing and having fun increasing fitness and

Once I think I’ve established some rapport with them I start to introduce them to my games.  These games are suitable and modified to suit their current needs and ability level.  At this point again my mental notepad is working over time. I’m noticing how they’re responding to the game, if can they do it easily or with difficulty, if they’re getting bored or frustrated, and how they’re moving in general. If I detect some consistent movement struggles, I’ll give some suggestions on how to move a little better, then allow them to try again.  I find with children, it’s not about movement perfection, but allowing them the space to develop better skills in a less structured and specific manner.

One of the main goals with these sessions is to get children outside playing, having fun, increasing fitness and self-confidence. It’s not about gaining really specific skills and techniques.

This mental note taking continues through the whole session as I continually change, adapt and modify the games according to the child.

Once the session is finished we sit down and have a casual chat. Here I often find out what they liked most, what they didn’t like and why.  This allows me to change things around for next week’s session to help achieve maximum results and create a general program in my head for the amount of time we’ll be working together.

From the outside it may look like play, but in reality every game, every movement and every conversation is working towards the bigger picture of helping them achieve their maximum potential.

I really enjoy working with kids, and find it both challenging and rewarding working with those experiencing behavioral issues such as ADHD and Autism. I don’t specialise in these areas but I’ve seen positive results and received fantastic feedback from parents when I’ve worked with these children and it’s made me realise how beneficial what I do is for them.

I recently introduced Private Kids Coaching to my list of Health + Fitness Coaching services and am so excited to have started working with local kids. I’m looking forward to meeting and working with many more!

If you have any questions for me about what I do please contact me via email info@primalinfluence.com or via the website here and I’d be happy to chat to you.

Thanks for reading!

Clint

Health + Fitness Coach @ Primal Influence

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Book review + competition: Paleo from A to Z

I ‘ve followed The Fitness Explorer Darryl Edwards for quite a while now. I remember browsing through fitness websites on the internet a few years ago and coming across the The Fitness Explorer website.  Straight away the movements and games Darryl played and taught resonated deeply with me and I wanted to implement some of the ideas into my own training and in my clients sessions.

One of our all time favourite paleo books

One of our all time favourite paleo books

It was mine and Aimee’s pleasure to finally meet Darryl last year when he was in Australia promoting his book Paleo Fitness and after spending some time with the big man we were definitely not disappointed; he has a wide knowledge base when it comes to the Paleo lifestyle and he’s an all-round nice guy.

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Fun at Primal Pantry

We’re excited Darryl has a new book out! It’s called Paleo from A to Z  which we’ve been lucky enough to read and also have a copy to giveaway!  Competition details at the end of this post.

My thoughts on Paleo from A to Z

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“Cholestorol ISN’T the enemy? Wah?!” So much great info in this book

It’s been described as “the go-to reference for all things Paleo” and that’s exactly what it is.  In fact just recently we had a friend over for dinner and we were talking about what tapioca is, so we grabbed the book to find some info about it and sure enough on page 258 “Tapioca- A starchy food made from cassava roots. Tapioca is gluten free but has very little nutritional value. Some Paleo recipes use tapioca flour as a substitute for wheat flour”. We found exactly what we needed when we needed it!

This book is a brilliant resource for anyone who is new to the Paleo lifestyle and confused with all of the jargon, through to the seasoned Paleo veteran who wants to touch-up on their knowledge, learn something new, and help others learn too.

I believe it’s a must-have in your selection of Paleo books. This book is a permanent feature on our coffee table and, as strange as it sounds,  I’ve thoroughly enjoyed randomly selecting pages sometimes and reading up on each topic on the page. Something you might find fun to do too!

 

Darryl was kind enough to give us some time for a Q & A while getting ready for his next trip to Brisbane for the screening of the We Love Paleo movie.

 

Hanging out with Darryl…

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US: You’re known as The Fitness Explorer www.thefitnessexplorer.com all over the world and creator of ‘Primal Play’. How would you describe ‘Primal Play’ to the uninitiated?

DE: The Primal Play Method is a unique combination of primal movement with solo, partner and group-based activities that are engaging and transformative. Designed for those who have forgotten the joy of movement.

US: As a paleo lifestyle advocate what are your top 3 tips for people wanting to transition?

DE: Research as much about the lifestyle as possible, but keep it simple.
Set goals which are realistic, meaningful and life-enhancing.
Focus on long-term success rather than competing a series of inordinately difficult short challenges.

US: You have a new book out – “Paleo from A to Z” – What inspired you to want to create this?

DE: It was written to help people navigate the wealth of information out there about the Paleo lifestyle but placed in one handy reference. A Paleo lifestyle encyclopaedia if you will. This book was designed to be a glossary of terms for those new to the Paleo lifestyle, but also with over 500 topics it has enough detail and research citations to ensure even Paleo veterans learn something new. It was intended to be non-intimidating and written in plain English. It has also been recently translated into Spanish. Sign up to my mailing list and you can download a free excerpt of the book: www.PaleofromAtoZ.com

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Here’s a trailer of the book.

US: You travel a lot for Paleo lifestyle events, book tours etc. How do you stay healthy and balanced with nutrition and play with all the travel you do?

DE: I travel hack to get the best travel experience I can especially when travelling long haul, I sleep hack to optimise my sleep when travelling across multiple time zones and to mitigate against jet lag. I also plan ahead to ensure there are no issues with nutrition. It’s not about achieving perfection but about making the best decisions I can and weighing up the costs and benefits at the time. In terms of Play? I aim to always be in a playful state and fortunately there are many people I have met on my travels who resonate with this.

US: What’s next for Darryl Edwards – The Fitness Explorer?

DE: Launching PrimalPlay.com in the near future and working on other exciting projects to bring Primal Play and the Paleo lifestyle to a larger audience.

 

Thanks for the chat Darryl and for the opportunity to read your book! We know you’ll have a tonne of success with your new projects and adventures and hope to catch up with you in person again soon for some PLAY!!


 

Aussies.. you can WIN a copy of Darryl’s amazing new book!!

win darryls book

Head here for all the info and good luck!

 

Clint

 

MYTH: you can be too old to start moving naturally

Yep, true, you are never too old to start moving naturally!

Clint and I always get funny, curious and “I wish I could do that” looks from people when we’re out playing at the beach or the park. And by ‘playing’ I mean actually playing games and doing different natural movements the body is designed to do.

We also often get approached by older folk who aren’t afraid to ask what it is we’re doing and why, often with a response of “I would have been able to do that when I was younger, but I’m too old now”. We hear it ALL the time!

And while we totally respect the older generation, we must say… they’re wrong!

Natural movement isn’t exercise. Nor is there a minimum fitness level required. If you can move any part of your body then you can have a crack at natural movement and some of the types of movements and activities we do.

Sure, we may be able to jump and crawl fast on hands and feet and things like that. Which can look intimidating to some. But we couldn’t always do those things, we started from scratch as anyone would. Plus, jumping, fast crawling and other movements at a similar level are not the only movements people can do. Simply crawling on hands and knees is a good place to start.

Why? Because for some odd reason in this day and age, we go from being children to teens to adults and somewhere along the way we stop playing and moving the way we’re meant to. We instead start ‘exercising’, or not, we do less movement and are sedentary too much of the time.

This is not good! Movements like crawling are basic human movements. They’re not just for toddlers and kids. Same for playing and finding joy in movement. Why can’t a 50 year old play Tiggy with friends and actually have fun?! There’s no reason!!

We could go on and on about the benefits of natural movement and play and why adults should be getting into it. But we’re not going to get into that too deeply in this blog. The point of this post is to show you that YOU ARE NEVER TOO OLD TO MOVE NATURALLY AND PLAY!

I’m going to use my mum as an example. She turned 60 in April (doesn’t look it though, must be all that gelatin and bone broth!) and a year and a half ago was hit by a car while she was crossing the street, which resulted in a badly broken wrist and a shoulder injury. Not to mention PTSD. Plus, she’s spent the last decade+ not doing a whole lot of moving. She used to workout and she used to walk A LOT. She still walks but no where near as much. AND she has an office job. That’s a whole lotta bad right there!

So… being 60, still recovering physically and emotionally from a major injury and not moving much in general equated to a lack of confidence, a lack of awareness of what she’s capable of physically and emotionally, and a lack of understanding of just how to move well.

When one is in that situation sometimes encouragement from someone else, and a little push in the right direction is needed.

We wanted to give mum a little nudge so last weekend we headed to the beautiful Maroochy Bushland Botanic Gardens in Tanawha to have a play with a friend from Brissie. Mum, me, Clint and Amanda. All very different fitness levels, but all just as capable of natural movement and play!

 

We started with a game of Frisbee to ‘warm-up’ (not that we think warming up is overly important but your typical not-yet-playing folk seem to think it’s necessary lol!). Before the Frisbee even got close to mum she was verbalising her lack of confidence with lots of “I can’t..” and excuses. Totally normal.

But within a minute, when she realised she could do it. Her words changed. And they continued to as the session went along; through push/pull activities, crawling, throwing, balancing on one leg and more.

At one point I had mum doing a combo of crawling on hands and knees, and throwing a rock. She threw the rock, and then would crawl to the rock, and repeat. I could really tell she struggled with coordination. Why? Because she hadn’t done those two movements since she was a kid! Without practice, of course something is going to be difficult. But the great thing about starting with basic movements is they’re pretty easy to pick up, they’re do-able therefore creating confidence.

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Once the session was finished mum was pretty pooped but felt good. She’d learnt a few areas that need work, such as balancing more on one leg than the other,  as well as crawling and throwing to become more comfortable with coordination.

To watch a short video on mum crawling and throwing, to give you an idea of how tricky it was for her at first, and how to actually perform these movements, click here.

Mum says she’s now looking forward to making natural movement a part of her lifestyle, because not only does she the need and benefit for her personally, but she’s taken that tricky first step of actually giving it a go and knows she’s more than capable.

 

We’re excited to see how she progresses, because we know it’ll only be a positive thing in so many ways, and because we care so much about her we’re keen to see the improvements it makes to her life.

 

So, if you’ve been one of those people often saying “I could have done that 20 years ago, but not now” or something similar, then now you know that’s not the case, and that you actually can do at least SOME form of natural movement and play.

We hope this has provided some inspiration to someone out there! Feel free to sneakily share the link in an email to your older loved ones you think might benefit from this, that gentle nudge might be all it takes to get them moving forward 🙂

 

Thanks for reading!

Aimee

Give up on exercise

For many people the word “exercise” conjures up images of spending hours at the gym sweating, endless repetitions of crunches, sharing exercise equipment with the other sweaty people before you, and just all-round general discomfort.

Well guess what? It doesn’t have to be like that.

It might be hard for you to fathom but crunches are NOT an essential exercise! Yep, you read that right.. a qualified Personal Trainer actually saying that crunches aren’t required!

All we need is our body and the natural world outside of gyms in order to be fit and healthy. What’s even better is that nature is completely free – there’s no joining fee or fortnightly direct debits!

Since you’re probably totally new to this way of thinking and moving, here are some suggestions of fun and functional movements you can perform outdoors…

1. The Lava Game

This is an oldie but a goodie! For those who don’t remember how to play this, the rules are simple…

The ground is lava! By using equipment and items nearby you have to navigate from point A to point B without touching the ground or you’ll simply burn up.

This game is great to play in a place where you have obstacles such as a playground or rocks to play on. The main benefit of this exercise besides needing to think is ‘mindful movement’ for the whole body.

What do I mean by mindful movement? Mindful movement is movement that requires you to think about it. Walking on a treadmill or riding a stationary bike for example is not mindful movement.

You also get the benefit of explosive movement as you jump from obstacle to obstacle, as well as flexibility as you duck, weave and move.

2. Tiggy

This game requires more than one person to participate, although I must admit it would look pretty funny trying to play this alone!

Once you have more than one person ready to play, start with 1 person being “it”. This person has to tag someone else in order to no longer become “it”. Then just keep going!

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It’s a very simple concept but great cardiovascular interval training is a great workout. The reason for this is because you are constantly on the move. Sprints thrown in when someone tries to tag you adds to the overall benefit and fun!

3. Quadrapedal Movements

Do you want abs of steel but hate the thought of doing crunches? Then try some quadrupedal movements in your play time!

Crawling on all fours, monkey walks and ape walks will get every muscle in your body working hard as you transform back to our early evolutionary roots.

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Start with crawling on hands and knees. Yes, babies do this, but give it a go, I bet you find it really awkward? Because you haven’t done it in a long time, yet it should be a basic human movement skill, all throughout life. Practice until you feel coordinated then move onto hands and feet…

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This is much trickier and you’ll feel your abs and quite a few other muscles working hard. It’s a terrific movement to do.

4. Remove One Limb

Choose one of your limbs – a leg or an arm – and play around with moving through a variety of obstacles without the actual use of that limb. For example, place one arm behind your back and attempt to climb a ladder at the playground.

This is another mindful activity because it requires you to think about how to move without using a vital body part.

5. Partner Object Carry

Pick an object that both you and your partner are capable of carrying, such as a rock, a sandbag, a small child etc and set start and end points.

Work together to move your heavy object from point A to point B. Pass the object to each other while each person takes turns to move forward or ahead. This game works really well at a children’s playground or in and around a rocky creek.

This exercise utilizes strength, balance, coordination, flexibility and mindfulness to achieve an objective.

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6. Chase the Waves

Next time you’re walking along the beach make a game of chasing the waves. It’s fun and incredibly effective!

As a wave heads back towards the ocean, sprint towards it as far as you dare. Then when it turns to come in again, sprint back so you don’t get wet. Repeat and after a few rounds you’ll see why it’s great for fitness!

If you’re keen and quick try do some push ups in between each wave! This adds a whole new element to the game.

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Chase waves
“you can’t catch me waves!”

So as you can see… playing is only limited by your imagination. There are so many fun movements you can create. The options are endless.

Here’s another gem… try adding some jumping and climbing!

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Now that I’ve given you these 6 awesome ideas to stop exercising and start playing I’d love to hear some of your suggestions and experiences. Leave a comment below with ideas you have or games you’ve played and enjoyed.

If you’re feeling self-conscious, unsure, unconfident or would like other people to play with then feel free to join in on the free Primal Play Days we hold every couple of months at Point Cartwright – stay tuned for info on our Facebook page

One more thing… stop reading and go play!!

Thanks
-Clint

 
5 Things I am grateful for are:
1. The wonderful people I am meeting on my health journey
2. Truly loving what I do
3. Days off
4. Being the world’s best Uncle!
5. Constant opportunities to learn new things

Dreams really do come true

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“Dreams really do come true”

Why did I choose that quote? Because it’s totally fitting for me right now…
I’m in Sydney for the MovNat level 1 trainer certification course. And it’s literally a massive dream come true!

I’ve wanted to become a MovNat trainer for a long time, ever since I first become a fan of the movement (pardon the pun!) and now I’m actually achieving that goal! I’m stoked!

To get to this point wasn’t easy. Seeing the course was coming to Australia and not having any money to be able to afford it was heart breaking. Primal Influence is my passion. It’s my lifestyle extended into a business because it’s what I want to do every single day. But it’s a very slow process building it up and creating income from it. Hence the lack of funds for courses and things like that.

I’m a pretty stubborn and determined bloke though. When I get an idea in my head it takes a fair bit for me to change my mind about it. When I decided I was going to do the MovNat course, I knew I didn’t need to know just how it was going to happen, I just had to find a way!

I’d seen ‘crowd funding’ on tellie and the internet and had an idea to create my own version for the goal of getting to Sydney for this course.

You think not having money for the course was hard? Try asking the public to GIVE me money for it! That was hard!

But I did it. I put it out there and asked everyone I knew, all of our social media followers and our meetup group members to donate to my cause. Not purely for the reason of it being a benefit to the business therefore a benefit to me financially. But also because of what I want to use it for in the future. I hope to work with kids and charities and do some really great things for the community, and that can’t happen without some particular skills and qualifications behind me.

When I put the call out there I had a thought that maybe it wouldn’t happen. So did Aimee, she had her doubts. But overall, underneath, in the back of my mind, deep down in my heart… I believed it would happen.    And that’s why it did!

Thanks to many of you, I’m achieving this dream right now! And I’m so excited for what the future will bring after this weekend!

Stay tuned for details of events and happenings – it’s all going to be awesome!

And go for your dreams, cos they really can come true!

-Clint