Fun Fitness - Social Skills Groups
Empowered Sports and Fitness, LLC Socialization Groups run for 10 weeks, 45 minutes per session. Winter session will begin January 5, 2019. Spring Session will begin March 23, 2019.
Registration is open. The fee for 10 weeks is $950
Size of Groups:
The group ratio is 6 children to 2 teachers: 1 certified Youth Fitness Specialist and 1 Occupational Therapist
Empowered Sports and Fitness, LLC groups require prior notification if you must miss a session. You can notify us via email @ firstname.lastname@example.org or phone at (646) 279-2324. There are no make-ups unless Empowered Sports and Fitness, LLC has to cancel a group session.
Payment must be made in full at the time of registration. We accept cash, check (make payable to Empowered Sports and Fitness, LLC), or Venmo payment. Sorry, no credit cards. There are NO refunds after the first session. Termination of enrollment less than 2 weeks before the first session will result in a $250 processing fee.
Can you relate to the following story...
"Coach Mike, my child doesn't have many friends. I find it extremely hard to say it to myself, let alone out loud to you. I get a lump in my throat and a pain in my heart when I talk about this with anyone. My child is rarely invited to a birthday party, sleepover, or playdate. In most cases, we only get invites from close friends or family. What hurts me most is that my child loves to be around other kids, but he/she either sits on the sideline watching and smiling or, the other extreme, he/she becomes over-stimulated and overzealous while interacting and typically ends up having to be removed (kicking and screaming) from the other kids. It’s no secret my child struggles socially to build and maintain friendships. I want him to be able to enjoy being around other kids without being isolated or about to star in a UFC cage fight."
Having heard many stories like this, I came to the realization that I needed to create change for the families with whom I was already working. With the help of Emily Kline, a Pediatric Occupational Therapist, we came up with the idea of combining our skills and creating a fun fitness - social group. We want to give the families and kids we work with a safe environment to practice and improve their social skills, and have them learn these skills through sports and fitness. This way, when they’re not working with us, i.e., when they're out in the real world, parents and kids can feel more confident in any given environment. Society has a lot of catching up to do in regards to awareness for children with special needs. However, rather than waiting for society to catch up, Emily and I decided to create a paradigm shift and give the families and kids we work with additional skills and the support they need now. With that in mind, we came up with the concept, CORE, which focuses on the following:
Cognitive - The benefits of physical fitness go beyond health and wellness of the body. Besides strengthening the cardiovascular and muscular systems, research suggests that physical activity also positively impacts the brain and improves cognition, mood, attention, and academic achievement in students. So, to support positive outcomes for both health and learning, we have incorporated movement into our social skills groups.
Open Communication - There are a broad range of communication and learning styles because we all process information differently. The learning styles are: visual, auditory, kinesthetic (hands-on), or a combination of all three. Knowing how your child learns helps us leverage cognitive and movement skills and explore barriers to help guide them.
Responsibility - We teach personal and social responsibility through physical activity. In fact, physical activity is a great way to teach kids valuable life skills such as respect for others, cooperation, and leadership. We enjoy helping shape and develop the character of the kids with whom we work.
Establish Life Long Habits - We are constantly striving to help the children and families we work with to pursue excellence on and off the field. The most important aspects to consider when working with kids and adolescents is to be positive about their skills and efforts. By showing appreciation for their physical activity, the foundation of lifelong habits is reinforced.
We understand that life choices and interactions can be difficult for the kids we work with because of sensory difficulties, motor planning difficulties, and social skills difficulties. Because the kids we work with already have so much on their plates, we decided to focus on the CORE (literally - as this is where all movement stems from) through physical activity and theory of mind (providing our kids with the CORE skills to be socially interactive). We felt that if we could give the kids and parents a model (the CORE Four), they would be able to reference and utilize these strategies in any given situation.
Goals of Empowered Small Groups:
• To help bridge the gap between therapy and physical play. Through physical play (in a fun and safe environment), we will facilitate the development of foundational movement skills: squatting, lunging, pushing, pulling, twisting, bending, and walking/running/jumping. In essence, we teach participants to live and move in their own bodies, in addition to improving their interpersonal skills.
• To build self-confidence and social skills. By redefining play (instead of expecting group participants to adhere to traditional sports rules and regulations), we create new ways of playing that allow participants to shine individually and as a group. The social skills and movement games are filled with creativity and conform to individual needs and differences. In fact, we find less structured activities allow participants to creatively express themselves in physical play and in their interactions with their peers.
Children will be encouraged to:
• PLAY! In our group sessions, effort equals success. Participants' efforts are rewarded with positive feedback. By showing appreciation for their physical activity and group interactions, we reinforce the foundation of lifelong habits and social skills.
• Share in social interactions. We teach personal and social responsibility through physical activity. In fact, physical activity is a great way to teach kids valuable life skills such as cooperation, leadership, and respect for others. We enjoy shaping and developing the character of the kids with whom we work.
• Have FUN! Having fun is a combination of consistent delivery of positive messages and acceptance. Most importantly, it’s about taking the emphasis off winning. We teach participants that, when they compete, it’s simply about giving their full effort. By focusing on effort, kids learn to work hard, to respect each other, to work as a team, and to enjoy the opportunity to test their skills. In addition, having fun is about learning to overcome adversity. No one is perfect and, for that reason, not every new skill or lesson learned during a session is perfect. We teach our group participants that it’s okay to make mistakes. Mistakes are what help us improve. When we teach participants to deal with mistakes and overcome adversity, they’re better equipped to create solutions and strategies to solve the problem at hand. In essence, having fun while being active builds character.