Xcel 2 Fitness is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. We are an after school program for 3rd-5th grade boys with a mission to use fitness to impact character. Our program is carried out through a 6-week curriculum that teaches speed, agility, strength, balance, and cardio while embedding teamwork, leadership, and goal-setting into each session. The program functions after school 2 days each week for 1 hour. After the 6 weeks, all teams in the area meet at the BIG EVENT. The Big Event is a fun family event with a timed obstacle course challenge for each X2F team. There are also games, vendors, concessions, and music. Teams from all over the area are represented, making for a great opportunity to celebrate our boys and show off their hard work.
Who is the program for?
Our program is currently offered for 3rd – 5th grade boys.
Xcel 2 Fitness is designed to provide appropriate fitness challenges for all boys within that age range. The background of participating boys ranges widely. Some boys are heavily involved in sports, some boys freely admit fitness “is not their thing,” and many boys fall anywhere within (and outside of) that range. Our focus on fundamentals gives appropriate practice and challenge to the most skilled of athletes but also encourages and allows a boy at any fitness and skill level to engage and improve at their own level. The team-based, game-style atmosphere is fun and engaging to a boy at any fitness and skill level and teaches boys from all backgrounds that they can successfully work together whatever the range of skill sets.
We are also developing a middle school program and have a vision to eventually provide a leadership program for high school students.
What do participants do in a session?
1) Each session starts with a character discussion that addresses teamwork, leadership, or goal setting. Our coaches engage boys with applicable character points and challenges to practice them and work at them on an everyday basis.
2) The boys are then led through a strategic warm-up routine to get their bodies physically ready to exercise.
3) Boys rotate through two different challenges that target a specific fitness concept (speed, agility, strength, balance, or cardio). The challenges are smaller and incorporate provided equipment to teach proper technique and enable safely practicing the fitness concept within a fun, skill-related activity.
4) After the two challenges, boys compete as teams in a “showdown” based on the skills worked on during the challenges. The showdowns have one team facing off against another in an obstacle-style, larger game. It’s a great opportunity to have fun while putting into practice the character discussion points. We utilize the issues that happen within games (following rules, working as a team, developing strategy, etc.) to help our boys recognize both the fitness and character aspects. We believe healthy competition is a good thing for boys to develop their character, with an emphasis on HEALTHY competition.
5) Boys end the session with a cool down that focuses on stretching and a final reminder of the character discussion points.
When does Xcel 2 Fitness happen?
There are separate fall and spring seasons that each operate on a 6-week curriculum. Exact dates and times are dependent on the school calendar and schedule of each location, but generally the fall season starts in early October and ends in mid-November with registration happening at the end of September. For spring, a season generally starts at the end of March or early April and ends early to mid-May with registration happening mid-to-late March. Sessions typically occur for abut one hour directly after schools get out. For example, if a school gets out at 3:00, a session might be from 3:00-4:00 or even from 3:00-4:15 to account for transition time.
How much does the program cost?
X2F costs nothing for a school, but there is a fee for each participant to pay when they register for the program. Check with your area’s X2F chapter leader or website for the base rate, but please know that our heart is for every boy to participate who is interested. To help, X2F offers financial assistance via scholarships to families who need a reduced rate.
What’s included in the program? Do boys get a shirt?
Each boy who participates in the program receives:
- 12 sessions
- an X2F t-shirt
- an X2F wristband
- a copy of X2F To-Go (a book with fun challenges and insights into each session)
- free entry at the Big Event (free for everyone; bring all your family and friends!)
- an X2F drawstring bag
- an X2F water bottle
- an X2F headband
- an X2F dog tag
What is the size of a team?
The average X2F team has from 15-17 boys on it. A full team consists of 20 boys. A team needs a minimum of 6 boys for the games to function properly, and depending on demand and number of coaches, a team may have up to 24 boys.
Who are the coaches?
Each Xcel 2 Fitness team operates through two volunteer coaches. Anyone on the school system’s approved volunteer list may coach. It can be a male or female, a staff member at the school or a parent, a community volunteer, or even an approved upper education student getting volunteer hours. More often than not at least one of the coaches is a staff member, but that is not required. It could be two parents or other approved community volunteers.
Each coach runs the program from a scripted manual with equipment provided by Xcel 2 Fitness, so each session at each school across the country should function the same. Each coach attends a coaches’ training/meeting prior to the season, during which the area’s X2F chapter president makes sure each coach has the correct materials, understands the curriculum and procedures, knows the correct function and delivery of the program, and most importantly has a priority to carry out the mission and heart of the program with passion and excellence.