My Main Priority Is Fun

child coach high five
Parents, I want to let you in on a secret: it’s not something that gets talked about much, but it’s something you need to know before you even think of letting your child participate in another Sportball class.

Sportball hasn’t actually produced any Olympic gold medals, Stanley Cups or Heisman trophies.

Wow, it feels good getting that off my chest.

Of course I’m exaggerating (I think we have at least one gold), but it’s to emphasize the point that as a Sportball coach my main priority  for your child is to make sure they are having a good time in my class.

I’m a certified elementary teacher, and in my first practicum during teacher’s college, I met a grade one teacher who told me that her most important goal was to make sure the kids in her class enjoyed coming to school every day.  Without that, nothing else mattered.  You can’t teach a child math, language arts or social studies unless they’re engaged and willing to learn; that enjoyment is vital to their ability as a student.

Sportball understands this reality.  I’m not going to be able to teach your child to kick, catch or throw anything, unless they’re excited to be there and having fun doing it.  This is why we employ story so much in our skill demonstrations.  It makes it more enjoyable for children to practice a skill, which to them may seem like a fairly arbitrary piece of physical movement, the mastery of which may not yet have the inherent value that it takes on as children grow older.

That being said, and in connection to my previous message, if your child doesn’t perform a skill as well as another child in the class, it’s not important.  Or more precisely, it’s not as important as whether or not they’re still having a good time doing it.

Like I said at the beginning, we’re not trying to churn out dominant athletes.  What we seek to instill is a pro-social, collaborative, fun attitude towards sports and physical movement.

Sportball doesn’t produce sports superstars, but unless those positive associations with sport exist in a child, no one else will either.

21 September 2012 by