Finding the right sports for your kids can be a challenge that you should learn how to overcome. There are so many factors to consider, like what sports? Where? What if my kid doesn’t like the sport? What if I don’t like the place?
For all the parents out there who wants to choose just the right sport and place to ensure your kid gets the best of the best, we have all the inside details for you. We talked to Passant Esmail, owner of Slimnastics a leading ballet school in Egypt, and asked her all the questions any parent could ever have.
How long has been Slimnastics been open for?
We started back in 2013; both ballet and adult aerobics classes began at the same time.
How many parents have you dealt with in these years?
Ever since we started, I have dealt with around 2000+ parents. We have more than 2000 registered students on our database.
From your experience, what advice would you give to parents when it comes to choosing a sport for their kid?
First, they have to check which sport their kid is good at and leave them in it. If they are not good at a certain sport, or they’re not happy then pick them up, leave and go find another sport where they’re happy and you’re happy as a parent too. However, it’s important to realize that ‘being good’ is not 100% the parents’ decision or the kids’ decision. It has to be an expert’s opinion (i.e. the instructor) and you have to trust the place you’re going to so that you know that they will give you the right, professional advice.
What tips would you advise parents who want to pick the right sport and the right place to go to?
- Choose a decent place for you and the child
Make sure that the place you choose is clean and makes the kids feel welcome.It has to be a place where you know you can leave them and come back knowing they’re safe.
- You should ask: “who are the instructors in the place?”
Besides the place, you should check up on who the instructors that are at the place. You should ask things such as; are they certified? how many years have they been teaching? were they trained to teach kids?
- Try not to follow others as much as actually trusting the place
Don’t just follow where other parents are going. Know what to expect out of the sport your kid is doing, set proper expectation with a reasonable time frame and judge based on that.
- Shouting and hitting is totally unacceptable in any sport
It is not the right way to deal with kids. Having a loud tone to grab kids attention is acceptable, shouting and being aggressive is not. There are many alternatives to dealing with issues with kids. Shouting, calling names and being aggressive destroys the kids’ self-confidence, which is something that sports try to build up.
- I recommend gymnastics to be the first sport for any kid.
Gymnastics builds strong muscles and flexibility so it produces a strong base. The children gain flexibility, balance, and muscles.
How much time before you can really test the sport and tell if your child is good at it and genuinely enjoys it or not?
The third year is usually the breaking point, either they continue for a long time after that or they have learned most of what they need, built muscles and they leave the sport for good.
Now, talking nutrition. We know you provided some of your students with nutrition programs last year. How much of a difference did you notice from the students who followed a healthy meal plan versus the others?
The kids that have followed the weight loss plan have reached a perfect shape; they have become accustomed to that eating lifestyle. One of our cases was overweight, which hindered her ability to wear pointe shoes. She followed the plan and now she reached her target, she’s in good shape, wears the pointe shoes and no longer feels that she is behind due to her weight. She continues to eat well and follow that lifestyle.
At Slimnastics, we tend to give the parents of children who need to manage their weight nutrition plans, to help perform better.
Why do you recommend parents should commit to having their kids play sports, how do sports help them with bringing up their kids?
- In regards to social life, group fitness sports build a feeling of teamwork and sharing. This helps kids as they grow up knowing how to deal with people.
- Sports also helps kids build and understand interactions. When they have interactions with other kids in competitions they see people lying, cheating, losing and winning. They also learn that winning isn’t a one-time thing; you need to work for it and maintain it.
- Sports teach self-confidence when a kid is good at a sport that they feel a certain sense of pride.
- Sports gets most kids out of the television and social media bubble and into real-life interactions.
- Learn commitment at an early age.
Any further advice you’d like to give to parents?
Don’t push your kids to a sport because it was YOUR dream to practice it! Don’t force your girls to play gymnastics because it was always your dream to become a gymnast, maybe your daughter is much better at football. Find what your kid is good at, and let them excel at it.