For hundreds of years, Western Civilization produced literate societies by immersing their young in its intellectual heritage. Students practiced rigorous routines of reading, writing, and arithmetic. They memorized classic poetry and important dates in history. They solved math problem without calculators. They understood the Constitution.
In the 20th century, we changed that. As we’ve experimented with styles of teaching, we’ve moved further and further away from the effective methods that built this great nation. To see how ridiculous this is, imagine these ideas being transplanted to a gym…
Presenting: Guidelines For Coaches In The Modern Gym!
The old-fashioned idea that strength training is best accomplished by weight lifting is narrow minded. Today we know that people have various natural gifts for building strength, and they need to be free to develop them in their own way. New activities might include:
- Getting in a group and discussing what we like and don’t like about weight lifting
- Listening to a guest speaker try to get them excited about weight lifting products
- Performing an interpretive dance to express how weight lifting makes them feel
Experiment with incorporating all these different ways of exercising into your own gym and just watch everybody’s biceps get ripped!
The world’s many diverse cultures have their own ways of developing strength, and they are all exactly as good as each other…and they’re all better than our own. To get students to respect these other cultures (which is the real purpose of gym, after all), try the following exercises:
- Like the indigenous tribes of South America, curl your pinky fingers and big toes at the same time. Hold. Repeat.
- Like the noble people of the Arabian deserts, sit on a rock and bounce on your bottom until you feel dizzy.
- Like the proud peoples of modern America, shout at people in a traditional gym that they’re making you feel bad.
Mainstreaming Special Ed
Every 98 pound weakling has a right to be in your Advanced Powerlifting class. We can’t technically guarantee every student success, but plenty of parents are willing to sue if that’s not what you deliver. If this means you have to neglect your talented, enthusiastic students in order to subtly lower the bar so another student can technically finish a work out, don’t complain. You’ll be sued for that, too.
Excused Absences and Make Up Work
The laws demand that students may be excused from work outs for any reason, any time, for any number of days, without penalty. Well, everybody treats it that way. So when a kid comes back to your gym from a week of officially-sanctioned truancy and then lamely demands all their make up work right away, be ready to give it to them.
If, after a year of missing frequent sessions with you, they aren’t in good shape, prepare to shrug your shoulders and pretend you don’t know why they didn’t make more progress. Suggest that they need more special accommodations during work outs.
A lot of students these days will come into your gym without any background in exercising. The best way to catch them up is to offer modified work outs where they can thrive in an anti-social subculture that mimics the fitness routines in the society they insist on thinking of as home. So, instead of demanding that they start lifting weights with everybody else, allow them to comfortably ease into their new environment by curling their pinky fingers and bouncing on rocks for a few years.
But be sure to check off on your paper work that they worked out like everybody else, though. It’s the law!
Thanks to our wonderfully materialistic society, every kid who comes into your gym will know that the best reason to get in shape is…to get a fancy job and make lots of money. So when they ask, “When will I ever need to do a push up in real life?” you can try to explain the intrinsic benefits of good health, or just tell them to be quiet and get back to work.
Regular, frequent periods of intense practice are overrated. Today’s fitness experts all know that the best way to improve health and build strength is to have extra long workouts just two or three times a week. In fact, with weekends, holidays, and assemblies, a serious student could go four or even five days between workouts! But don’t worry; on the days that they are in your gym, they can really focus on burning the same few muscles for an hour and a half. That’s the best way to go.
However, since students can no longer focus like they used to, be sure to interrupt their workout every few minutes so they can walk around and talk to each other. Research shows that this makes aerobic conditioning more intense!
Making the Curriculum Relevant
If today’s youth are going to be healthy and strong, they need to know how the exercises connect with their manufactured media youth culture. The best coaches explain workouts using current slang, and adapt their workouts to be more exciting. Instead of doing those boring, old fashioned curls or bench presses, let them skateboard their way to improved muscle tone! Pressing buttons on video games is a far more fun (and effective) method of burning calories than dumb old cross-training, anyway!
Computers are the future! Every good work out should include making a five minute PowerPoint presentation. Give extra credit on their upper body conditioning if their clip art is animated.
If a student is performing poorly, be sure to correct them in such a manner that they’ll have no idea that they were performing poorly. Kids today interpret all advice as a personal attack, and if you make them feel bad about themselves, whether you mean to or not, you can get in trouble.
If a student chooses to sit around and do nothing in your gym, you may not say that he is “acting lazy.” Such verbal abuse will get you fired!
If students become disruptive in your gym to the point that it infringes on the workouts of others, you may begin a long series of paperwork that will eventually get the student removed from the gym for a week or two, max. You’re the coach–you solve their problems and get them in line while you train forty other students how to exercise. Just don’t make them feel bad while you do it (see previous section).
Answers to Your Concerns
1. “How is it fair to judge my coaching if my students go home and spend ten hours staring at a computer screen and stuffing themselves with junk food?”
Answer: Shut up.
2. “How can I be a role model when the culture on which they pattern everything from their clothes to their speech indoctrinates them to hate me and everything I stand for?”
Answer: Shut up.
3. “If students are getting weaker, with shorter attention spans and less support from their communities, aren’t these flashy reforms just an appeasing kind of pandering? Why don’t we vigorously oppose these problems head on, especially by returning to the atmosphere and methods that worked so well for so many other generations?”
Answer: Shut up!
Yes, with these enlightened methods in place, we’re sure to produce a nation of fit, healthy athletes! Look out, Japan and Europe! Now, we’re finally ready to lead the way again!
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