When Arya, age 7, first joined our virtual Tennis classes she was actually there because her dad signed up her younger brother, aged 4. In the very first class, Arya was having more fun than her brother and was quickly taking over class. She's been consistently attending now for almost a year and shows up with her purple headband and wristbands, ready to play!
The idea of kids attending virtual classes has become popular over the last year for obvious reasons. When we set out to complement our boxes with virtual sports classes, it was before the pandemic and the concept of kids learning sports virtually was foreign.
Over the last year of growth in attendance and requests for classes, what was meant to help provide parents with a little instruction on how to teach their kids has proved to show many more benefits. It's actually incredibly amazing to see our kids taking a few weeks of classes and feeling super confident and excited when they join organized sports!
What are the benefits of virtual sports classes?
- Convenience: This goes without saying that attending a class at home is way more convenient than shuttling kids around to organized activities. If you have more than one kid, the struggle is even more real!
- Building Confidence: When kids learn skills individually before they are in group settings, they are more likely to actually learn it and build the confidence to play when they are in a group. Each child is different and some need more instruction than others. Many times parents take their child to organized sports without ever exposing them to it at home and they wonder why their child isn't excited or enjoying it. It comes down to confidence.
- Learning with and from their favorite grownup: Research has shown that young kids are more likely to learn and take inspiration from the grownups they are familiar with. If you are there playing with them, they will be more excited to play and more likely to WANT to play.
- Flexibility in how they learn: With virtual and smaller classes, coaches are able to individualize instructions to match the needs of the kids. It's also easy to get kids to be creative when we're working with what they have at home.
- Builds Motivation: There are many kids who tell their parents that they don't know what to play (and then resort to watching youtube!). By attending a virtual sports class, a little instruction can go a long way. We've found that many of our kids love to attend the quick 20-25 minute classes and then they go offline and continue playing at home. It's such a great way to quickly build motivation to get active!
- Learn fundamental techniques: Kids who build their basic motor and ball control skills at a young age are more likely to have a lifelong healthy relationship with sports and fitness. Our coaches are trained in teaching kids the right skills that help them improve their fundamental skills (which gives them more confidence to play!)
- Figure out what they like: With young kids, it can be hard to know what they're interested in and what you should sign them up for. Trying out different sports virtually is a great (low commitment) way to figure it out! Naturally your child's strengths, weaknesses and passions will start to show and you'll get more insight into what they enjoy.
- It's fun! Yes it is! Our classes include music and themes that kids connect with! Games are not just boring drills, but more of an adventure!
What typically happens in our virtual sports classes for kids?
Typically classes are about 20-30 minutes long. We keep classes shorter for the younger kids because they have shorter attention spans. We give them enough instruction and game ideas that they get inspired to play on their own.
Each week there is a new theme to the class. For example, it could be a jungle adventure, a visit to outer space, ocean exploring, and many more! Giving them a fun theme helps kids connect what they're learning to something they already know. It also helps them speak up with ideas which is great for kids who are more shy.
Then we first review and reinforce what we've learned in the past and work on a few new techniques each week depending on the sport. We also include music at times to keep them engaged and our coaches give parents and kids feedback on what to change and how to improve.
Finally, we end each class by asking kids what they learned and giving each of them a homework assignment on what to practice the upcoming week.