Growing an Athlete on the Farm

Playing outside is something of the past for most kids in America.  It’s a sad thing really as they are missing a huge aspect of athletic conditioning.  When I was a child, I had a 600-acre farm in the mountains to explore.  Believe me, I left no stone unturned.  I was hiking miles every day.  I was also running, climbing, jumping, lifting rocks, falling, crawling, rolling, balancing, and all the other activities involved with playing on a farm in the mountains of North Carolina.  To me I was just playing, but in reality I was beginning my athletic training. 


The moment I began playing sports, I could do pull-ups, squats, pushups, jump well, and land well.  All of the basics were easy for me because I spent my childhood playing like a child should.  As a strength and conditioning coach I don’t have it so well with the athletes that I get to work with.  It’s a different generation an unfortunate one for the children. 


It’s rare nowadays when a 12-year-old can knockout pull-ups.  Most children perform horrible looking pushups.  When I was starting my career as a strength coach, I was baffled at the lack of basic athletic development of our youth.  So what has happened to our youth?  Technology is what happened.  Now kids have IPads, IPhones, and video games to play with.  There is no reason to go outside and use their imaginations when they can plop a video game in that places them in a virtual reality world in the Congo. 


Look I am all about technology, but there have to be limits for our children.  Parents don’t use technology to babysit your children.  That’s our job as parents.  Too much technology is ruining their imaginations, and leaving them athletically challenged.  So what do we do?


I don’t have a 600-acre farm in the mountains, but we do have a 15-acre farm in the rolling hills of North Carolina.  We have horses, chickens, dogs, and cats.  We plan on getting some cows.  We have a garden filled with delicious vegetables.  More importantly we have a place for Rock and Behr to explore, play, and work.  Rock is only two-years-old, and he already has the farm mapped out.


Rock already climbs fences, rides his bike, and feeds the chickens with his Nana.  You should see the pile of rocks that he has made with his Radio Flyer Red Wagon.  I am even amazed at how he picked those rocks up.  He climbs up on hay and jumps down.  He is learning all of these skills with the tools that God has gifted all of us with.  It’s just that we aren’t using those tools. 


His Poppy (Rock’s Grandfather) has built him swings, sleds, and hiding places.  We are going to use some of the scrap wood around the farm to build Rock and Behr some cool obstacles to play on.  We are going to slowly turn the farm into the perfect early athletic development playground, and we are going to document all of it for you guys to get ideas. 


This is something that I am very passionate about.  I am not going to raise an introverted young man that would rather text you rather than shake your hand even when he’s standing right in front of you.  This sounds crazy, but it is true all too often. 


We love our farm and the life that it provides for our family.  We are going to document several other aspects of the farm like:


·         Adult Fitness on the Farm

·         Gardening

·         Raising animals

·         Caring for the farm

·         Cooking on the farm delicious and healthy

·         Hosting events on the farm


I am so excited for this series.  People who know me realize that I am passionate about fitness, family, God, and the farm.  This series will bridge the gap between all four, and hopefully I will be able to teach all of you a thing or two.  My goal for all of you is to learn some new ides for raising an athlete, getting strong and fit at home, cooking delicious food, raising your own food, and possible life on the farm.  I hope that all of you will love it.


We will be blogging and vlogging our adventures on the farm.   Maybe we will start a podcast down the road, but for now videos and blogs will be the main ways that we share our ideas.  We are also going to open up a few weekends for a few of you to come hang out on the farm.  We will be training, cooking, and doing life together.  It’s something that Chris Moore and I talked about.  I will release those dates shortly. 


If there are certain things that you guys want to learn about, please comment below and I promise to do my best to answer all of your questions.  Thanks for reading, and I am super excited for this new adventure.