Program Design

Period 1 : The Huddle

This section of class establishes the instructor’s expectations.  It is also when the children learn the goals of the day.  Coaches must consistently offer an opening ritual. This period should be 8-10 minutes long.  It also allows for any late arrivals, as children this age often come a few minutes late due to nap times and other schedule conflicts. It is also common to find kids at this age require more transition time from the car to a class, than kids 8 years and older.

The huddle begins with all the kids sitting on a designated dot, inside an agility circle or any other type of position marker. These should be arranged before class and in a circle or oval shape.  This format mirrors what they experience in school each morning.  This portion of the class will be organized differently than the other sections  of class.  There are  5 components to this first period.  The combination of these 5 elements produces  an orientation for the kids or a huddle.  The first 3 sections are seamlessly presented to the kids.

  • The greeting
  • The goals 
  • The rules

They should not be presented as separated sections, but flow into one another as part of the overall orientation for the participants.  Elements 4 and 5 have a class pause.  However, the orientation will inform the pee wees with details of the ice breakers and the run for fun activities.

  1. Greeting- Get acquainted with the kids by learning their names and introducing them to each other.  This is like attendance and a very familiar process for school-aged children.
  2. Goal Setting – Share the expectations and plan for the class.  
  3. Rules – Gentle reminders of the rules and code of conduct.
  4. Ice Breakers – Seated games and opening rituals.
  5. Run for Fun – Finish with running games to get the wiggles out.

As kids arrive, they should be directed to a specific marker, dot or agility ring where the Huddle will take place.  Never let children pick their spot. Always give clear directions which one they should sit on.  Once kids are all seated, make sure you are seated as well. Find a way to learn each child’s name and then use it in a conversation during this section.  This is critical for developing rapport and trust.  After a short conversation, review the code of conduct and explain what they are going to do in class.  It is your goal to sell the curriculum of the day.  For example, ‘jumping jacks are so much fun, arm action is amazing, we are going to learn to run super fast and jumping on two feet will help you jump like a kangaroo.’ 

Imagination, inspiration and imitation will be a reliable strategy when creating the games you want to play in class.

Examples of seated games for The Huddle:

  • Simon says a word
  • hand clapping echo game
  • silly sentences
  • in my trunk

After The Huddle

Before moving onto the Active Dynamic Warmup (ADW), the first period finishes with Run for Fun.  This lasts a few minutes and allows the kids to run, but in an organized fashion.  We have found that allowing kids this age to run for just a few minutes helps them focus when beginning the active dynamic warmup and the athletic lessons.  This section is not a free-for-all.  It is a structured way to let them release a little energy.

This transition works best by ending The Huddle with the kids handing you their position marker (dot, ring).  Then, you will assign them the lane and position they should stand in.  For example, ‘Michael stand in lane 1, you are the line leader.’   A good tip for this transition is to give the group clear and simple actions while they wait to be assigned. 

Here are some examples:

  • everyone freeze like a statue 
  • freeze like a superhero and when I touch you  – you become unfrozen 
  • put a super bubble in your mouth (being quiet) and place your hands on your head
  • glue your feet to the ground and hands on the hips
  • be a potato (they freeze and squat down, supe silly)
  • be a gargoyle (they freeze like a scary statue)
  • turtle time

Once the kids are in place in their line, let them simply run for fun.  You can keep it simple and direct the kids to run from one point to another on your command.  It is okay to tell the kids they are going to run and get their wiggles out before beginning the focused portion of their training.  This brief running portion at the end of period 1 must have simple directions.  This is a great opportunity to practice the code of conduct like, taking turns, keeping your hands to yourself, stopping their body and returning to the end of the line.  Once this is done, the children line up for a water break.  Class will return for Period 2 which includes the active dynamic warm up and lessons of the day.

Period 1: Run for Fun Logistics

  • Running before the structured portion of class will help kids focus when beginning the active dynamic warmup and the athletic lessons.
  • This section is not a free-for-all. It is a structured way to let them release a little energy.
  • This is a great opportunity to practice the code of conduct.
    •  taking turns
    •  keeping your hands to yourself
    •  stay in your lane
    •  return to the end of line
  • Keep the running games simple.

Period 2 : The Active Dynamic Warmup

The Active Dynamic Warmup (ADW) section or the second period will be a large portion of each lesson.  The consistent exposure to fundamental movements will build these younger children into future speedsters.  This section includes the majority of the athletic education.  No movement is too simple or too easy. The ADW is an amazing opportunity to develop excellent gross motor mechanics while shaping your pee wee’s athletic instincts.   

The Active Dynamic Warm Up is the cornerstone of the Parisi speed sessions.  In classes with children 7 years and older it is the first section of their training program.  The movements in a traditional Parisi class set an athlete up for athletic success throughout the rest of their class. It is for this reason that the movements that encompass the Active Dynamic Warm Up are the focal points of a Parisi PeeWee’s class.  By investing the time in properly teaching foundations like squats, jumping jacks, skipping, rudimentary jumping, hydrants and planking, your pee wee aged speedsters have a higher chance of athletic success as they graduate to Jump Start and Total Sports Performance classes. 

After period 1, your PeeWees should be returning from their water break. Dots, rings or position markers should be placed on the track or training space.  Assign the children their new location.  The ADW may begin once the kids return to their spot. Tell the kids they are about to start the active dynamic warm up.  Begin introducing them to the vocabulary you want them to learn immediately.  Do not change the names of the movements, or present them in a ‘baby tone’, just simplify the movements and teach the peewees the correct vocabulary.  Once the children are on the dots you will begin with stationary movements.  The next two two components of this section are the ground strengthening and core challenges.

Period 2 = Active Dynamic Warmup (ADW) 

The PeeWee Active Dynamic Warmup consists of three core parts:

  1. Stationary movements 
  2. Ground Strength Training
  3. Core Challenges & Development

Lead the ADW with simple movements (see movement list in accompanying PeeWee Coaches Manual). Combine serious intervals with silly breaks.  For example, after several sets of exercises, insert a break for the kids to wiggle.  Continue to move through the active dynamic exercises including stationary exercises, core challenges and ground strength. You can use traditional ADW sequencing like 10 jumping jacks, 10 squats, 10 jumping jacks, 10 squats, 10 toe touches, 10 hops, 10 pogos, 10 shoulder taps, etc.  Or, you can use an ADW game, for example use a deck of cards and flip a card for each ADW movement.

While dots are a great way to organize class and lead the ADW period, you can also add cones or use the lines to create more training applications of the basic movements.  While this section is referred to as ‘stationary,’ it does not mean the children can not move on and off their position marker for drills. 

Once you have completed the stationary exercises, bring the kids to the ground.  This section presents an opportunity for all 4 limbs to touch the ground.  It also provides body weight strength training.  Many of the movements performed in the ‘ground strength training’ series are intended to serve as basic strength training for children.  Exercises like hydrants, bird dogs, planks, shoulder taps, down dogs, hip bridges, leg circles are fantastic strength training movements  for children this age.  Do not get hung up on these movements being performed perfectly. Give small simple corrections.  Coaches must demonstrate and perform alongside the children, while providing corrections simultaneously. Coaches need to move and reposition themselves while demonstrating to ensure all the children can see their body mechanics.  

During or after the ground strength exercises insert the core challenges.  Children at this age will struggle with leg lifts and sit ups. 

Pee Wee Anchor Movements

  • jumping jacks
  • squats – all styles
  • single leg balance
  • hopping- single leg jump
  • arm action
  • move to stop – becomes deceleration
  • two foot jump
  • landing
  • diver load series
  • side shuffle

Ground Strength & Core Challenges 

  • leg lifts
  • sit ups
  • swimmers
  • crabs 
  • plank
  • hip bridges
  • hydrants
  • shoulder taps
  • V-sits
  • bear position
  • wheelbarrow
  • rock the boat
  • plank bridges
  • down dogs
  • hangs (on a bar)
  • flutter kicks
  • scissors
  • side plank
  • bicycles

PERIOD 3 -Preach, Practice and Play  

Imagination, inspiration and imitation will be a reliable strategy when creating the games you want to play in class.

Period 3 is a very flexible section of class.  It is intended to preach the movement, practice the movement and play with the movement.  Preaching the movement is a combination of teaching and inspiring the children.  In order to preach movement well you must tap into the spirit of the children.  This will improve their focus.  

Period 3 = Preach, Practice & Play

  1. Preach the movements
  2. Practice the movements
  3. Play with the movement

Practicing the movement is similar to the application quarter of the signature Parisi classes.   When movement is broken down the cues should be simple, short and fun. 

Here is an example.  ‘ Hey peewees, who can tell me where their knees are?  Okay I am going to test you.  Touch your head, touch your knees, touch your head, touch your toes, touch your knees.  

Okay very good.  That was easy right?……….  Who knows where their hips are?…… Mikey show me.  Yes, very good.  Everyone touch their hips.  Touch your head,  Okay – who can do it fast.  


So everyone lets bend our knees and hips at the same time.  It is like sitting in a chair.  Who knows what this exercise is called …… SQUAT – YES! excellent.’

After teaching and preaching the movement, the kids should practice the movements. Coach the kids on squatting together.  Do not get hung up on too many details.  Give feedback that is appropriate for the age and personality of the child.  Just like teaching any group class – you must always read your audience.  Children 4-7 years old are no different.  The Huddle will provide you with a lot of insight into the mood of the children and help you shape your expectations for class.   

Repeat sets of your movement.  Then, gamify the practice.  For example, place little toys on the ground or flat cones and tell the kids to pick them up by squatting, bending their knees and hips.  This movement can progress to a sandbell slam. If your facility has 2-4 pound sand bells, you can use it as a tool to help teach the squat movement.

The ‘play portion’ of period 3 does not have to directly correlate to the exact movement practiced during the preach and practice section.  It can be a small aspect of the play section.  Try not to be too literal. You can keep it simple.  Play can be as simple as running a relay and picking up a toy at the end of track.  Parisi coaches should always fall back on any game that make the kids run.


Period 4 is the end of class.  Period 1 and 4 are like the covers of a book.  Period 2 and 3 represents all the pages between the two covers.  Period 4 is a chance to create a closing ritual.  This is a great time to test the children on the lesson of the day.  Coaches can use this time to ask the kids how they enjoyed the games or the drills practiced during class.  Coaches should remember the feedback the kids provide and make adjustments to future games.  Allow the kids to give suggestions on the games and listen to their ideas.

As you close the class down, make sure you include a break down. Offer the kids two break down cheers, ‘ should we say Parisi PeeWees Rock or I love Peanut Butter!’  Pay attention to moments where you can be silly with the children.

Period 4 = The Breakdown and Wrap Up

  1. Review class emphasis
  2. Break it down and end your session with a BANG!