Fit for Kings: Introducing the Presidential Fitness Challenge

When I was a child, President John F. Kennedy created the President’s Council on Physical Fitness to encourage physical fitness in young Americans.

His successor President Lyndon B. Johnson followed that initiative with Presidential Physical Fitness Award. My elementary school introduced us to this program. President Johnson appointed Stan Musial, one of the greatest baseball players in history, to lead the program. Many of us enjoyed trying to meet the program’s fitness targets.

Ensuing administrations have put their own stamp on the program, and within the past year or so it has largely given way to private fitness initiatives, but meeting its fitness goals remains beneficial to this day.

We are blessed to have among our new parents and coaches Mr. Frank Thompson, father of Josh. Coach Thompson was an NCAA gymnastics championship competitor in college. He also has years of experience coaching elite gymnasts and teaching the components of the presidential fitness challenge, helping athletes achieve both national- and presidential-level fitness standards.

Coach Thompson has been kind enough to offer to teach all interested Kings the fundamentals of the fitness challenge and to help them achieve the presidential level of fitness, representing 85th percentile performance based upon the 1985 School Population Fitness Survey.

Several of our varsity and juniors players have tried some of these challenges during off-season workouts. This experience gave them reason to be encouraged about their current level of fitness, but also led them to discover areas in which they can improve.

We will support all players who wish to try the challenge by providing time for Coach Thompson to teach the proper forms and techniques during off-season season workouts, and encourage interested players to support one another in their respective fitness goals. We provide a link to the standards below.

We are grateful to Coach Thompson and Mrs. Becky Thompson for making time available to us for this program.