Everyone knows that participation in physical activity keeps the body healthy, but few understand that participation in physical activity is actually a critical piece of healthy human development that affects every area of human development:
Consistent participation in physical activity, especially when starting from a young age, leads to positive attributes in all 5 areas of development listed above. Amazing Athletes programs are specifically structured and designed to provide little athletes with positive movement experiences that allow them to enjoy sports and fitness while also advancing their motor-skills so that they can confidently pursue any physical activity that interests them in the future.
This week we are thrilled to share our interview with Christy McKinlay of Amazing Athletes, another of the unique and fun extracurricular programs we offer here at Eden Prairie Montessori Learning Center!
Please introduce and tell us a little about yourself…
Hello Eden Prairie Montessori Families, I am Christy, the owner of Amazing Athletes of Southwest Metro. I recently purchased the business from the previous owner, and I am excited to bring this awesome program to many more children in the Southwest area. Our unique programs help to develop key motor skills and instill the values and advantages of structured active play for healthy habits and benefits that can last a lifetime. Active children demonstrate better focus, energy, emotional control, social awareness, and more. All of our Amazing Athletes programs are taught in group settings, allowing our coaches to incorporate lessons on teamwork, sportsmanship, and self-confidence. Most importantly, we teach each child at his or her own pace, helping them to meet, master, and exceed their motor development milestones and personal goals. By encouraging each child on an individual level, our athletes gain the confidence and personal insight to encourage a love of fitness that can stretch through adolescence and adulthood.
Who or what inspired you to start teaching sports & physical fitness and how long have you been doing this?
My inspiration comes from my family. My son was in daycare, preschool and before and after school care, and the one aspect I wished they had was some sort of active, structured motor-development program. I came across Amazing Athletes about a year ago, and thought, man where was this program when my son was younger? As a mom I want to provide my family with a healthy lifestyle. I’ve been an active member of the fitness community for the past 4 years. I am licensed spin instructor, and yoga instructor, I was a strength coach at a local gym. Today I run Amazing Athletes and I am so excited to bring the program to your kiddos.
What age groups do you work with at Eden Prairie Montessori?
Amazing Athletes actually has three different programs. Amazing Tots work with kiddos from the age of 24 months to 33 months. Amazing Athletes coach’s kids from 33 months to 6 years old. Amazing Athletes Training Academy coaches kids from the age of 6 to 12 in after school programs around the area. Currently Eden Prairie Montessori has the Tot’s and Amazing Athletes programs.
What do you love about being an Amazing Athletes coach?
My favorite aspect about being a coach is working with kiddos on their motor skills, and watching them work through how to make their movements work in the proper order to get the end result. When the lightbulb goes off, and they do a skill perfectly for the first time, they look at me with the biggest smile and I give them a high five. I love those moments!
Please tell us what goes on in your class and what a typical day might look like?
Our action-packed curriculum is endorsed by Early Childhood Expert, Bonnie Bruce who reviews each element of our program to ensure our Amazing Athletes get every possible advantage. And our programs show kids just how much fun fitness can be! During our 30-35 minute weekly classes, children learn the importance of patience, teamwork, and self-confidence in a non-competitive, learning-based environment that fosters a love of healthy living. Their excitement for structured physical activity promotes advancements and advantages that keep children on the path to personal well-being.
A typical class starts outline:
1- Active Sport (Volleyball, Soccer, Basketball or Football)
Starter Nutrition (Power Food)
1 – Patient Sport (Tennis, Hockey, Lacrosse, Baseball, or Golf)
Yep we fit that all into 30 minutes, so class moves fast!!!
What is the most fun part of your job?
After each class we sit in a circle and review what we practiced. It may look like we are just playing games the entire time, but the unique curriculum really works and they remember the important aspects of what we covered; active sport, patient sport, power food, and muscle. All the kiddos get a couple stamps and we get to sign our song!
Can you tell us about some of the changes you notice in the kids since the classes started?
We continue to have new kiddos in class and it reminds me how far kids come during the program. We have kiddos that begin our program where we start from step one, balance. Other kiddos start and we work with advanced motor-skills. The beauty about our small class size is the coach can work with each kiddo and progress the skills as needed. From being able to throw a ball at a target properly to hitting a moving ball with a tennis racket. The confidence they attain from practicing so many different sports is amazing. Every week I hear at least a couple kiddos say they went home and practiced what we went over in class the week before. They are so excited to share with their parents the new skill!!!
What do the kids love about your class?
Every week the class is different. We have over 10 different obstacle pieces of equipment, 4 active sports, 16 power foods, 12 muscles, and 5 patient sports in the curriculum, the number of combinations is endless!! We do repeat some of the kids favorite games because there is comfort in knowing how to play, but they still get so excited to play those too!!!
What is an interesting fact about you that not a lot of people know?
Both my parents worked full time so by the time they got home, made dinner, did a couple chores they were worn out. I love my parents, and they are awesome, but my motor development was lacking to say the least. Growing up I only played sports where the ball went away from me…so golf. I was too scared about getting hit by a ball or embarrass myself to play the other sports. I find a lot of peace in coaching the kiddos, and for some of them, I get to coach them past the fear, and some come in fearless.
To learn more about Amazing Athletes….
Please visit their website www.amazingathletes.com/swm
….and don’t forget to give them a follow on Facebook! https://www.facebook.com/amazingathletesmn