Social Fitness Club (SFC) was developed by three psychologists at a treatment center for at-risk adolescents. Through their work with teenagers they observed frequent challenges in teaching social skills using traditional formats. The result of this was the development of a novel curriculum for teaching social skills using fitness.
SFC approaches participants as individuals in the context of their environment, with independent experiences, strengths, and weaknesses. This design allows a more individualized understanding of specific skills deficits observed in the participants. A second major premise of SFC is that social skill groups are more effective and are more likely to generalize when the skills are produced in a potentially meaningful or familiar setting. Working in this setting, a gymnasium, reduces barriers to practice of social skills and supports new skill growth.
- Improved non-verbal and verbal communication skills
- Opportunities to interact with similar-aged peers
- Opportunities to assertively lead a group and be a supportive member of a group
- Practice with communication skills necessary to navigate conflict
- Increased competence at setting personal goals and rising to challenges
- Fitness training, increasing comfort and knowledge of how to exercise and engage in physical fitness activities
Social Fitness Club meets weekly for 8 weeks with a small group of members at community centers throughout Milwaukee.