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June 28, 2010

thoughts on choosing a sports program for your child

Today we have a guest post from Colin, the Original SuperParent.  Here he shares some thoughts about choosing a sports program or class for your child.  He writes about all things parenting, along with other super parents at the blog SuperParents.

I am a highly trained black belt in Traditional Taekwondo with 26+ years of experience. My son and daughter on the other hand have been enrolled in the local Judo club for the last year. Just last week a friend of mine asked why I’m not teaching them myself.
I am highly involved with their Suzuki violin lessons. In recent times, I’ve also helped my children academically. How often have we shared cooking tips, pranks, and personal life stories with them? Studying something independently, well, gives them independence.
I get online inquiries often from people wanting to study a particular style or for schools in their vicinity. None in the last 10 years have asked my recommendation on the quality of instructorship. Doesn’t anyone think that’s important? In my assessment, the Judo teacher has a fantastic way with kids, a good teaching system, members who’ve competed in the Olympics, inexpensive classes, and a class size of 20-30 children. How much more perfect can it be? Canapés at the door?
Adults who come to my group are trained to generate a huge amount of force applied to very vulnerable targets on an opponent’s body. We talk about types of attacks, and a person’s reaction to such threats. If this does not sound like a suitable class for young children, you’re right, it’s not.
Of course, there are those instances where I do share my perspective and knowledge as a fellow enthusiast. My insights can improve their technique, help them gain the focus needed to become a tougher opponent, and show how to be culturally sensitive in class. These are offered only as gifts – my children are free to take it or leave it.
After my own weekend practise sessions, I drive over to the Judo club and sit and watch. When they glance my way, I raise my eyebrows, smile or give them the thumbs up. I might roll my eyes at the few helicopter parents running back and forth. It’s fun to be on the sidelines.
If you enjoyed this post, read
A Child’s Perspective on Support Needed for Sport
Kids Sport and Martial Arts as a High Level Sport
Background: Colin Wee is a 5th Dan Black Belt in Traditional Taekwondo with 26 years of experience practising three martial arts over three continents. He is a former assistant national coach in archery.
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What do you consider important when you choose a sporting program for your child?  Have you had a particularly good (or bad) experience with a sports teacher?

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