When I was starting my journey a few months back, I was advised by a successful serial entrepreneur, “Take stock of the business every 3 months and be prepared to deviate from the path”- I understood very little of it back then. Little did I know, I will get a first-hand experience so early. Lockdown & all the proposed extensions back in April were creating a fear in my mind, that I will end up sitting idle for a minimum of 6 months. Ultimately, the fear pushed me to get all my energies, time and efforts together- I discarded all the offline planning of my venture and started designing online friendly work out plans for kids. Trust me, it is not as simple as doing it for the adults. For younger kids, it is the visuals and props that make it more engaging. The biggest challenge of all, if kids do not like you in the first video interface-either you or what you make them do; there is a high probability of they never coming back
May was a month of new beginnings and new learnings 😊. One whole month of conducting online fitness classes for kids and I have 25 different work outs saved in my Class folder now. Summarizing my experience here:
- It was obvious to me that I will have to plan my class to the T in advance. However, new learning was, you will have to go with the mood of kids in the class and thus always be ready with a back up plan.
- Age group 4-6 years makes me the most nervous and now I always have 30 exercises written for them in advance. They do not give me the liberty of taking a minute in the class to think, because by then I have lost their attention and they are either lying down on a sofa in front of me Or disappeared from the screen completely 😊
- The above age group is not looking for a structured work out, for them it is absolutely ok to just keep running from one point to another Or just do jacks repeatedly. So I have started doing a lot of game and story telling based work outs for them. I love the most when kids play along with my imagination and contribute. It is FUN… for me surely 😊
- I feel kids have enough pressure at school, let work out be a fun activity for them. Not everything has to be competitive (Unless, ofcourse you are training for professional sports), Just let them be. At times, we take 5 minutes off for unstructured cardio, just play music and do what you feel like. So far it is contributing in their daily physical activity and the form is right enough to avoid injuries, I feel it is absolutely OK. Having said that, I do spend 5 minutes in teaching a thing or two new in every class.
- It is not about how fancy a work out you can design or how complicated an exercise you can do yourself or how fast a runner you are. Deciding factor will always be kids. So I am spending more time in reading what clicks with them better, without compromising the sole purpose.
Small things that have made me happy and kept me motivated:
- When kids have come back for my class to start with 🙂
- When a mother of 8 year old mentions, this is the first time her son has liked an online format
- When a mother of 6 year old says, my daughter was waiting for your class since last night
- When kids give me a thumbs up and a broad smile in the end (willingly)
- When kids ask me, if they can have a repeat of previous class activities,
- and more such……
There is one thing that I have really loved about my new venture- it has helped me reconnect with a lot of old friends. Friends from school (more than 2 decades), graduation days, first job, old cities of residence, friends who moved overseas and more. Their kids are now coming for the online classes and I get to see them regularly.I bet won’t have been possible in any other way. It is a different feeling, engaging with them
It is just one month, and has been great so far. I am looking forward to every day and hoping for a very long innings in Part II of my career.
Priyanka Chaturvedi, Founder- Wonder Yearz
(Wonder Yearz is an initiative to promote fitness amongst children so they can reap the benefits of a lifestyle that is active, healthy & fun. We are focussed on children from the age of 3 to 12 years.
At Wonder Yearz, we design work out for children based on motor skills, fundamental movement, calisthenics & mindfulness)