Having three boys I knew that I would be in trouble when it came to extra curricular activities, but I also knew I love the benefits that kids receive from playing sports, learning music, dancing, karate and more. I really believe these activities can teach skills, build confidence, and encourage socialization that is different from the kind they receive at school. When I was a kid I tried a little bit of everything until I found my love in theatre. My parents allowed me to really pick and choose and experience each activity before I got too involved.
When my oldest son was three years old I decided to sign him up for lacrosse because I thought at such a young age at least he would be learning hand eye co-ordination skills and the value of teamwork and things like that, what I did not realize is that even though you pay a bunch of money to an organization your coach may be little Jimmy’s dad. I was quite surprised to find out that the coach (who did have some lacrosse experience) did not have very good skills with small children. He didn’t make any of the training very fun or explain how he was the coach and what a team means. I was disappointed because although this man was doing his best it was not the experience I had hoped for, for my son. I find in some of the other sports we have played the same situation is true some teams are great because you happen to luck out and get a parent who is very keen to work with your kids and will look up soccer drills on google before practice and bring a back up snack in case a parent forgets or you get the opposite a volunteer coach who is looking for some hours for school and comes to a soccer practice in sandals. You never really know exactly what you are getting until you are there.
There were a few skills that we knew we wanted to get our kids involved in and that we didn’t necessary want to teach ourselves.
All of the boys started swimming lessons at a pretty young age and depending on the child has grown to love or hate the water, but does feel pretty confident to jump in and play in the water. We have done some lessons through the city and some through the Y. We have had great teachers who sing in class, play, and encourage and we have had teachers who push a little too much.
Another skill we knew we didn’t want to teach was skating but we really wanted our kids to be comfortable on the ice. We were at a preschool skating party a few years ago when these two four year old girls were skating laps around my son and to be honest myself. We couldn’t believe how good these kids were and that is when we discovered the Inside Edge Skating and Hockey school. On day one coach Sharon had my oldest son skating without the red plastic helper. He has now grown to love skating and every year I can see him improve. This year he decided he wanted to try hockey and I researched some of the hockey options in Guelph I was shocked to hear the price and once again the reality that it would most likely just be a volunteer coaching. I knew that my son needed more guidance and actual coaching so he joined the hockey skills program at Inside Edge. It has been amazing to see his growth in 5 weeks of classes only 30 minutes a week. He has learnt so much and you can see his skills and confidence building.
My middle son, Mason has also joined skating this term. If you knew Mason than you would know for the last two years at preschool he has stood outside in one spot of snow while kids played because he is terrified of ice so when he asked to join skating this year I nearly fell over. Once again coach Sharon encouraged, played and taught Mason and within in a few weeks he was confident enough to skate by himself. The programs at Inside Edge have a small student to coach ratio and I think this really helps the kids build their confidence and learn. There are many programs to choose from so each program can really be specific to what the focus is and kids can move from class to class. The way the coaches teach is truly amazing as well. A lot of the really little kid classes there are lots of games and exercises where they kids are playing and do not even realize how much they are learning. Inside Edge is in Cambridge but definitely worth the drive. I find after the snow fall this weekend I was ready to hear Mason start complaining but it was the opposite he was excited to play in the snow which I believe is because of his new love of the ice and snow from skating. Extra curricular activities are amazing and if you are looking for any skating or hockey programs I would advise you to check out Inside Edge.