We put a lot of pressure on moms, as a culture. I feel like there’s a lack of credit given to dads sometimes. But as we know…Dads. Are. Awesome.
NINJA DADS are aren’t necessarily a special breed, but let’s be honest. Their kids are NINJAs. Thus, by association, the dads are equally as special. I sat down with a NINJA dad, and we discussed NINJA ZONE, and his daughter’s experiences in class. What I learned is that the NINJA ZONE program is doing a lot more than promoting physical fitness for kids. It’s changing their lives.
Interviewer: Do you have a boy or girl NINJA?
I: How long has she been a NINJA?
D: 3 months.
I: What made you decide to enroll her in a NINJA ZONE class?
D: She hasn’t really found a sport for her, and really hasn’t wanted to try any except softball. We wanted to put her in something that was active and might give her a little confidence boost.
I: Have you seen a difference in her, or in her confidence since she started classes?
D: Yes, she is slowly coming out of her shell, but it’s still a challenge. A good coach can bring out a lot in a child, and when you have a kid that doesn’t want to play sports, it’s hard to accomplish. This was a perfect fit, because she was immediately interested in all the rolling, jumping, kicking, and flipping. Like any sport, this allows for individual accomplishment and group interaction while having a coach rooting them on. It’s everything we/she needed when she didn’t want to play a sport. It’s almost a hidden sport, where it tricks kids into teaching them athleticism and confidence with the small wins during the class. They just think they are having fun, but we know they are learning.
I: How soon after starting classes did you notice a difference in her confidence?
D: 2nd class! Our gym has the kids ring a bell when they accomplish something new and hard, and then they perform it for the entire gym. After the first class, she immediately brought up that she didn’t like the bell (because the last thing an introvert wants is to be on stage). But during the 2nd class, her trio of girls accomplished a new skill together and she rang the bell. She may not have liked it, but she did it!
I: What a proud papa! What is the best thing that you have seen come out of a NINJA ZONE class? Either from your own daughter, or other kids else in the class?
D: Skills, listening, fun, confidence, everything you want out of it. She loves it.
I: From a parent’s perspective, what role do you see the Trainers having in shaping the lives of the NINJAs they coach?
D: A good coach in anything is an incredible mentor for kids. Same applies here. NINJA ZONE helps kids learn and succeed at something, even those kids that have avoided group sports. The awesome thing about NINJA ZONE is that skills don’t have to look pretty, so even if it looks like a kid is faltering, to the kids and coaches, it can still be celebrated as a success.
I: Was your daughter interested in gymnastics before she started NZ classes?
D: Not one bit. We enrolled her in a little program with her sister when she was 4 and she hated it.
I: Interesting. Something that she wasn’t interested in has really become one of her favorite activities. Do you find that your daughter is displaying “NINJA characteristics” outside of class?
D: Somewhat. She’s always been a climber, jumper, likes to get dirty, and rolls around, so those are not new. I feel like it’s too soon to see if there are other character changes, besides her confidence soaring, which I witness at every class.
I: What is the biggest piece of advice you can give to a parent that is thinking of enrolling their child in a NINJA ZONE class?
D: It doesn’t hurt to try it… you might be surprised. Just show your child the You Tube videos of what NINJAs do in class, and maybe it will connect with them!