The well known phrase "your mission, should you choose to accept it..." is a signature of the popular television show and movie franchise Mission Impossible. The things they were tasked with accomplishing were truly daunting. While the mission of JumpBunch does not place our coaches in life and death situations by comparison, we believe that what we hope to accomplish truly matters in a way that can influence the lives of children forever.
If you've ever had fun in a class of any kind, I will guarantee you that much of that was because of the leader, teacher, coach, or whatever their title was on that day. It's absolutely true that the fun starts here.
Recently we had a call with a group from China that were interested in possibly bringing JumpBunch to their country. During the call they asked a question about how cultural differences might need to be considered when evaluating how the program might work there or in other countries. Our CEO, Tom Bunchman, began his reply by pointing out something that is so simple yet so powerful. Kids are kids. At the core of it all, if we let them, kids all have the same basic needs and desires wherever they may be.
There's a lot going in February. Rumor is that there is a pretty big football game (you might even call it Super) to kick things off. There is also an important and fun holiday full of candy, flowers, and gifts from the heart. Speaking of hearts, February is also the month that we are encouraged to consider how well we are taking care of that most important organ in our bodies.
Some things simply can't wait for resolutions. To clarify, we are talking about New Year's resolutions. That mythical "starting line" that occurs on January 1 each year can be recreated in any month on any day that you choose. As parents, we all want our kids to be happy and healthy so we try to put them in position to be active through a variety of programs. However, sometimes we fail to realize that while that is good, the best way to motivate our kids to be active is to give them a good example to follow.
A study by the British Journal of Sports Medicine found that American kids lag in worldwide fitness tests. More specifically, when compared to the fitness levels of kids in other countries, U.S. kids ranked 47 out of 50 participating countries. The study measured aerobic fitness levels using what is referred to as a "beep" test. Kids ran back and forth between two points until a beep occurs.
One of the primary goals of JumpBunch is to introduce kids to healthy habits early and often. However, the reality is that healthy habits for kids are truly established at home. While it is true that JumpBunch can sometimes be the impetus to focus on more active things at home, it works best as a reinforcement and connection to what parents and families are already doing to have fun, be active, and live healthy while together. At the end of the day it really doesn't matter which comes first as long as the end result reflects what our tagline says...Sports. Smiles. Fitness. Fun!
It is amazing to consider what a child learns, or is capable of learning, in the first 5 years of life. Though much learning for kids simply comes naturally as they physically grow, as parents we have a great deal of influence over what is included, and sadly not included, as a core part of the learning experience. Those choices must be intentional and are a great opportunity, or even responsibility, to positively frame actions and thoughts that impact our children well into adulthood.