Since we got our trampoline a year or so ago, our garden has been one of the most popular places to play in the street. In fact, until the net was blown down in the storms a few weeks ago, one of both of the kids went on it practically every day and learned all sorts of tricks and fancy moves. Even the snow didn’t stop them!
At all hours of the day in all weathers, I’ve listened to them laughing and playing together, running in rosy cheeked and laughing to make sure I stopped everything to watch whatever their newest move was before running back out again to jump some more.
So it’s only natural that when we found out that there was a trampolining class on at the local leisure centre that we would be the first names on the sign up sheet. We turned up and although the huge trampolines are a lot bouncier than our smaller garden variety one, they thoroughly enjoyed themselves and couldn’t wait to go back again the next week.
The next week was just as much fun except just before we finished we were given a form to fill out if they wanted to keep going and told that we needed to pay for their insurance and club membership fees if they wanted to keep going.
That’s not what bothered me really though, what annoyed me is that the coach started to talk to them about how they needed to master certain moves so they could enter competitions and she told them that they needed a pair of trampoline shoes so they could get used to wearing them as they’d need to wear them for competitions.
We came out of last week’s session and both of them, Miss Frugal especially were unsure about going back again this week – because they don’t want to be pushed to learn routines or enter competitions. They just want to have fun on the trampolines!
Don’t get me wrong, I think competition is good for children in the right circumstances and I’m not a fan of things like sports days where everyone wins but I just wish that not everything had to be competitive or have an end game of being good enough to enter a competition.
What’s wrong with just being able to learn something new just for fun?
So, here’s what we’re going to do.
We’re going to go back next week because if you take the competition element out of it, it’s an activity that they genuinely love which is not only fun, it’s good for them too. I’m going to have a quiet word with the coach to let her know that although they want to learn and they want to be good at it, they’re not quite ready to hear the C word. And every time she mentions it to the other children, they’re going to mentally put their fingers in their ears and say ‘La la la la la’ (in their head of course).
What do you think – does that sound like a plan?