General Physical Preparedness

Could CrossFit’s Principles Save Youth Sports in America?

Why athletes of all ages need general physical preparedness.


The failure of America’s youth to achieve general physical preparedness is well-documented. Our youth are becoming more and more specialized in their sport of choice at younger ages. As a result, more and more of these young athletes are having surgical interventions.

What’s the problem?

The high demands of specific motor patterns of year-round sports without a general foundation to support it is a recipe for disaster. We’re talking about boys and girls in their teen years and younger who are playing literally hundreds of volleyball matches and baseball games each year without general physical capacities like strength and flexibility.

Anecdotally, I played roughly 180 baseball games a year from age 10 to 18. During that time, I was neither strong nor conditioned. I couldn’t touch my toes, and the weight room was still viewed as a dangerous place for kids my age. Yet I got lucky. I played through only minor injuries and no surgeries through college into professional baseball. Most aren’t as lucky as I was, however.

Well, it just so happens that CrossFit has demonstrated the ability to develop general physical preparedness better than any other training program in history. What could it mean for the youth of America if they spent just a couple of days per week getting strong through new ranges of motion, learning to be flexible and learning true agility?

I think we can all agree that the school system of old did a better job with physical education than our schools do today. It kept our youth healthier longer. Still, it doesn’t pale in comparison to the type of effect that CrossFit could have in our schools. As a supplement to specialty sports, CrossFit could save our children unnecessary surgeries and help support longer careers.

What do you think?