I sat and watched some of Ben's practice. I knew the coaches worked the 5 boys hard... but watching just 20 minutes of their workout gave me an appreciation for just how hard the coaches are pushing this team. The calisthenic exercises they were doing were probably one of the toughest workouts I have seen -- and they do it for 3 HOURS. They were hopping from arm to arm while in a handstand position, rolling while keeping their arms and legs off the floor alternated with crunches, hanging in a pullup position for 60 seconds, caterpillaring up and down using their hands and feet, and doing times sets of timed pushups.
No wonder ben comes home so sore he can barely move and so exhausted that he is asleep the minute his head hits the pillow. Today he drank 32 oz of sports drink, took 3 kid's tylenol, and iced his poor arms when he got home. He was too sore to life the tv remote.
From talking to the other moms I learned that the gym owner hopes to have this team competition-ready by next spring... so they will continue training 6 hours a week in the fall and then transition to 9 hours a week to prep for competition.
I see the results when I watch Ben on the playground equipment: he effortlessly hangs by one arm, shimmies up poles, and maneuvers between impossible hand-holds. Occasionally other kids try to copy him and they can't. Since he is small for his age other parents give me quizzical looks. He runs across the grass and does graceful round-offs just for fun.