This is Andrew. He’s been training with me for nearly 2 years. He’s 15.
He’s also living proof that fitness & strength training can change a young man’s life.
You see, Andrew has some challenges. Some remain (and will continue.) Some are a work in progress. Some have already been crushed.
This video is evidence of several barriers being shattered.
Focus barriers – When we first started training together, Andrew’s attention span was limited and his mom told me he had difficulty focusing on schoolwork & other tasks. We began training with short-duration, low complexity activities which he could master, then layer upon. Getting these “wins” helped Andrew realize he could master more complex activities. Confidence increased & greater challenges were accepted & overcome.
ASD barriers – There are real physical, emotional & mental challenges faced by athletes on the Autism Spectrum. They vary from athlete to athlete, but include Hypotonia (“low tone” – more often assumed than real…more on that in another post,) motor planning issues, motor control issues, spatial awareness challenges, kinesthetic differentiation challenges and general coordination deficits. Many of the observed deficits are the result of a lack of activity on the part of these athletes.
Sensory barriers – Many ASD athletes have issues with sensory perception & processing. Often, certain textures are an issue, as well as sensitivity & reactivity to touch or touch in specific areas. For Andrew, he had reactivity issues to touch from behind. Obviously, this would make barbell back squats a challenge. It required some time & patience to overcome.
Multi-joint movement pattern & motor control barriers – As mentioned before, these challenges are common in ASD athletes. They are often exacerbated over time by a willingness of parents, teachers & caregivers to allow the athlete to become sedentary.
Andrew has worked hard to overcome his challenges to get to this point. This is his very first time barbell squatting. Minimal cueing, minimal instruction.
Andrew has come to really enjoy strength & conditioning training & he goes after it as hard as or harder than many other athletes I work with.
He’s come a long way & I’m very proud of him!
What barriers are YOU up against? What’s holding YOU back from stepping beyond average & doing something remarkable?
What lie are you telling yourself, or worse, letting others speak into your life?
Andrew could easily have accepted the lie about ASD kids. He could have allowed himself to be “one of those kids.”
He could have let “the system” label him, corral him & impose artificial limitations on his life.
But that’s not how my athletes roll…so that isn’t gonna happen!
Stop letting lies about your limits lower your expectations & keep you from greatness!
After all, Andrew isn’t!