KinFlow was created with the premise that Inclusive/player-centered Sports are birthrights for all & essential for healthy minds, bodies & communities. KinFlow fuses physical & mental fitness into an immersive sporting experience for all ages, genders & skill levels alike. As both a Sport & SEL technology, it is inclusive in nature, promoting healthy competition, mind + body wellness, & group flow.
PLAY, INCLUSIVITY, TEAMWORK, HONOR & CREATIVITY
Origin Story From Founder
As a young boy I would play basketball nearly every day until I was unable to make the hoop out anymore in the dark. It was my greatest joy to dance freely on the court and enter into what I later understood as flow states. These peak states are when we feel our best and perform our best. Athletes often call it the “zone”, musicians sometimes refer to it as being in the “pocket,” scientists and inventors as “Eureka moments.” I revered this optimal state of performance and gained not only deep joy but lasting benefits of increased focus, emotional intelligence and confidence.
Having come from a hyper competitive upbringing, I know the rigors, stress and pressures that can come from over emphasizing external outcomes in youth sports. My sports journey led me to encountering a coach in High School that ridiculed my every move. I ended up questioning myself, my skill and ultimately my love for the game. I eventually quit basketball my senior year with a broken heart and shattered confidence. It took me almost a decade to pick up a ball again and play with some level of joy, albeit far less then what I experienced so effortlessly as a young boy. I know that I am not alone. Over 70% of American youth quit sports by the age of 13. Though the reasons vary, undoubtedly the pressures placed on kids primarily by parents and coaches is certainly a major driving force. In addition, the epidemic of youth sports related long term injuries is a wide spread issue. One of it’s primary causes has been linked to overspecialization and over straining the young developing body in one sport ,often with the tremendously high pressures placed on by external forces.
All this led to me to December 26th, 2017, which I consider the birth day of KinFlow. My friend Kurt and I were playing one of our regular Aerobie Frisbee games of catch and something clicked. My muscle memory was solid enough at this stage where I was able to let go completely of analyzing my form/technique and I allowed myself to play free like the 10 year old kid that danced with the basketball for hours on end. Quite simply, I entered a flow state. Time seemed to freeze, I became fully immersed into the present moment and disappeared into the bliss of play. It was at this exact moment that I knew from my core that I needed to figure out how to articulate this feeling to youth and help them understand, harness and protect the power of their personal flow states through play.
I immediately got to work on bringing the game to kids. The name KinFlow was derived from 3 Kin’s; Kindred (Relationship) ,Kinetic (Motion), Kinesthetic (Bodies Intelligence) and Flow (Current or Stream). Together the name forms a new meaning; Moving as One. It’s also a play on Kinfolk, representing deep connection with others. We started with game play rules that I now joyfully laugh at (we had more objects than Quidditch from Harry Potter!). Through literally hundreds upon hundreds of games with thousands upon thousands of international youth of varying creeds, age, ethnicity, skill level and gender in 3 continents over the course of years, the structure and rules carved themselves out through raw and inspired play.
The wounds of hyper competition run deep into the collective unconscious and I see KinFlow as an antidote to mend this widespread trauma. To be clear, we do not shy away from healthy competition, keeping score and pushing each other to be our best. We believe competition can serve to raise the collective group flow when rooted in honor and the primary intention of what we call “hyper-present states of flow”. We see youth sports as a universal bridge for diverse cultures around the world to engage through play. A space where people from all walks of life can gather together in healthy relations.
With the greatest joy, I share KinFlow with You, Your Community and the World.
KinFlow Co-Founder with Youth from around the Globe