My oldest daughter is a competitive cheerleader, my son likes to run track. We are a fairly athletic family (ok, I’m the slacker) and we like watching and playing sports together. But one sport we don’t know a lot about is tennis.
We watched Venus and Serena play together at the US Open this year and my kids were really excited to watch.
One thing I’m always trying to do is open my kids up to experiencing new things. You never know when you may discover a new hobby, or something you really enjoy. And you won’t know until you try. So we decided to pick up some rackets and give it a try!
It was easy for us to go online to NetGeneration.com to find the perfect facility for us. Here’s all the action highlights on video.
The kids had a blast, they walked in having never held a tennis racket before, and walked out with a great workout, some new skills, and HUGE smiles.
Playing on a regular basis can help them develop hand-eye coordination, and improve their speed, balance, strength and flexibility. It was easy to go online and find a local tennis club close by and register for a class or lesson. We also found some schools nearby that have public courts to practice at. It doesn’t have to be expensive, it keeps them active, and they loved it! It was really awesome seeing them come out of their shells and go for it. So we definitely recommend you add tennis to your list of sports to try!
And now I’m going to dump a bunch more photos all over you cause these big kids were SO FUN to watch.
We are getting Big T signed up for some more classes while we wait for track to start up again, and Lil’ J says this is one of her new favorite sports (second only to cheer). And who knows, maybe they’ll get a scholarship someday. I mean look at the determined face!
School has been in for just a couple of weeks and the phrase absence makes the heart grow fonder has never rang more true. When my babies hop off the bus I’m eager to hear all about how their day went. I’m a little more excited than normal to help with homework. And I live for their begging for nighttime stories.
I’m happy to connect with my kids in ways that used to bore me. When Big T asks me to play dinosaurs or read the book Rex AGAIN… I do it. I don’t take those pleas for granted as much as I used to. And I don’t take our time together for granted.
I sat and colored with Lil’ J one afternoon while we listened to The Trials of Apollo. And when she asked if I’d record her practicing cheer I didn’t say no.
About a year and a half ago we started doing mommy and me cheer vlogs on Youtube. It was a fun little weekly project of ours albeit random. Looking back we didn’t know we were making memories. We just knew we were having fun.
When we found out little Lee Lee was on her way we took an unintentional break. During our last year of homeschool Lil’ J learned how to do some basic video editing in Final Cut Pro and she put together some short videos herself.
She told me she wanted to edit another video together so we’ve decided to revive our vlog. It’s also reviving my excitement in helping her with cheer and watching her progress. A baby sister (rightfully) distracted us for a bit and some of her progress stalled, but now just agreeing to watch her, or record her now and then has reignited her passion.
I don’t think I ever blogged about this little hobby of ours before. Maybe part of me felt like it was silly, or like no one would care. But I’ve learned a lesson I think everyone could use.
Find something, anything to do with your kids. Something you both love. Something that makes you both laugh, and get to know each other better. Why?
1. It’ll help you grow closer together
2. You’ll have fun.
3. Your child will love you for it.
4. You will love yourself for it.
5. Because if not now, then when?
Find that thing for you two. Embrace it and don’t let go.
The other day my daughter told me “You know what mom? I think I want to quit all my other activities and just focus on cheerleading.” HA! Nice try my dear. I told her if she really wants she could take a break from art class. But that she’d still be in piano (she enjoys it and it’s just 30mins a week). And that her tutoring for reading is a must right now too. I’m glad she’s passionate about cheerleading right now but I want to make sure she continues to do her best in school. And I’d like her to stay involved in music.
She is a busy girl and I definitely don’t want to overbook her. Our homeschool day (on our good days that we don’t sleep in too late or get too distracted) we’re done before lunch. Then she has an hour or so before we head to piano or tutoring. Then her cheer and tumbling practices aren’t until the evening. Some days though, it feels like we are running from one activity to the next all day. On these days it’s easy for me to go without eating until dinner. I know, it’s not healthy but sometimes it happens. I just forget. My daughter is less-likely to forget meals, but there have been times she’s scarfing them down on the way to an activity.
I imagine we aren’t the only parents who struggle with how to plan meals and snacks for our kids who have after school activities. I finally decided it would probably be best if I make some kind of easy grab and go container with things like CLIF Kid Zbar filled, fruit, and crackers. That way they can grab healthy snacks through the day. And have easy-to-take snacks when we are rushing out the door to a sport.
She has a handful of things she likes to do before her practice to get ready. Here are the main things I like to make sure she does:
Getting ready for cheer practice
1. Finish her schoolwork: It’s definitely a requirement for her to be totally done with all of her school work before practice. All her school work is homework so sometimes it can feel like it’s never-ending. But she’s pretty good about making sure her tasks for the day all done well before practice.
2. Eat dinner: It used to be we’d be in a hurry before dinner then I’d make her something quick when we got home around 8pm. Now I’m trying to get her in the bed earlier. So we’re making sure the kids eat around 5 and have time to digest before going out again.
3. Get changed: There’s a lot to remember–Bows, the correct shoes and uniform. The earlier she gets dressed the better so we’re sure we don’t forget anything.
4. Stretch and warm up: This is optional, but days we have extra time to kill I’ll watch her while she warms up or help her stretch before so she can offer and get the most out of her practice.
5. Drink lots of water and have a snack: Like I said before I make sure we have something quick and easy she can take in case it’s going to be a long practice night. There are some evenings she’s out more than 2 hours. I’ll keep her bag packed with water, fruit and CLIF Kid Zbar filled so she has what she needs to stay fueled all night.
Is your child in an after school sport or activity? How do you guys get ready?
I’m passionate about getting my kids outdoors to play, and making meaningful memories together. That’s why I’ve partnered with CLIF Kid for 2017, to share our adventures of being active as a family. CLIF Kid Zbar® Filled is crafted with creamy, delicious nut butter filling and a blend of nutrients for energy to help keep your kids zipping and zooming along. Their products are free of high fructose corn syrup and artificial flavors. You can learn more about this product here.
I'm a part-time journalist, full-time wife and mother striving to make the world a better place and inspiring others to do the same. This is the space where I share my journey in making the most of every day.