Another basketball season has ended for my fourteen year-old son. He's coming off of three months of two-hour workouts six days a week. I'd pick him up from practice and he'd get in the car with sweat dripping off his ear lobes and his hair as wet as when he steps out of the shower. Over these past three months he's lost over 20 pounds and gained visible muscle. Friends, family and teachers are commenting on how great he looks. I can tell that he feels great. This is the first time in his life that he has physically seen the impact of his hard work.
The challenge now is how do I keep him motivated. I know how easy it is to fall back into old habits. I also know that it is one thing to have your coach getting on your case about pushing harder versus your mother!
As I contemplated my next move in keeping me family active, I thought of the one thing that surprised me during our Family Fitness BINGO challenge last month . . . the extreme power that the promise of ice cream has on my children. It was the prize of an ice cream treat for the first couple of BINGO's that excited them to participate in my little game. The coupons I made were barely in their hands before they were lunging for the freezer.
I guess that it shouldn't have surprised me too much. My husband and I both come from a long lineage of ice cream lovers. There is always a carton of ice cream tucked somewhere in our fridge. does not like to eat the same thing too close together, but he could eat ice cream every single day! My kids ask for ice cream constantly. So why not use that to my advantage?
Bribery? NO! Motivation? YES!
It's been five days since the last basketball game. I haven't bugged my son for five days. He's laid on the couch and played video games to his heart's content. We enjoyed a fun weekend with friends filled with snacks, meals out and pop. Now it's time for me put together my game plan for keeping him - and the rest of us - motivated.
Starting tomorrow in the Jenkins' Household: For every five workouts (30 minute minimum) you will earn an ice cream treat. Charts are created, hanging on the wall and ready to go!