How do you start your child’s adventure with sports? Polish stars Monika Pyrek and Adrianna Sułek say it shouldn’t be a problem. They themselves are the best example that the simplest means are sometimes the best. And they bring great benefits.
Getty Images / In the photo: Adrianna Sucek
One sports career is behind him. Rich, full of medals at the World Cup and European Championship. The second is just starting and all indications are that he will be one of the leading figures in Polish sport in the coming years. However, both are a perfect example that versatility and trying different forms of physical activity from an early age can only benefit you.
After all, Monika Pyrek did not start her adventure with sports from pole vaulting, to which she has devoted no less than 17 years of her life. Adrianna Sułek’s first choice was also not the shot put, high jump or javelin throw, which were included in multi-legged athletics.
And although they grew up in different times, their origins were actually very similar. And very simple.
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Here’s the best start
– I was a hyperactive child and preferred any kind of movement. What did I start with? Basic sports, ie just jumping on a rubber in the garden – remembers the silver medalist of the World Indoor Championships in Belgrade, the ambassador of the 4F company.
Then, for several years, the 22-year-old’s first choice was volleyball, and only relatively recently did her adventure with multi-concessions begin.
Monika Pyrek also jumped on rubber and walked on trees. – I’ve tried everything – he laughs. Later she seriously trained basketball, there was also a high jump in front of the post. Each of the disciplines helped, and certainly didn’t hurt, in breaking the Polish record in pole vault 69 times.
Today they both speak with one voice. Even though it may seem trivial, the simplest games are an excellent form of activity for children. And they can be a good start for the youngest, for whom sport becomes a life choice.
– All, even the simplest, backyard games learn and provide an excellent foundation to try something more serious. The youngest learn to work in a team, think, be responsible and resourceful. The basic moves are also strengthened, and this is through play – there is no doubt about Pyrek.
The former excellent athlete was fully committed to promoting the sport among the youngest after finishing her career. The Foundation named after her carries out a number of projects aimed at promoting physical activity in children – alternative gym classes, Monika Pyrek Camp, ie pole vault workshops, or the Scholarship Fund for the most talented and promising athletes. One of the fellows is Adrianna Sułek.
The strengths are huge
The young athlete states that while each form of exercise can be different, they all have one common denominator.
– Versatility is very important. We will learn something different and valuable in each discipline, but they all have one thing in common. Sport can shape us, instill courage and ingenuity from an early age, and give us a lot of confidence.
Her older friend has a very interesting theory, according to which every person can find physical activity that gives him joy and satisfaction.
– I am convinced that if a person does not like sports, it is only because he has not found his own form of activity – says Monika Pyrek. – The choice is so great that everyone can find something for themselves. I encourage the youngest to try different disciplines. Only in this way will they find the discipline they deserve.
How to start?
What if we see in our children a sense of movement and a willingness to be physically active? Where to go? There is no one way here, because the possibilities are very large.
– I started athletics on Thursday, where you could still have fun, but there was also a competitive element. The first prize was chocolate – Sułek remembers with nostalgia. Another option is the Student Sports Associations. One of them currently runs Pyrek.
And he argues that the most important thing is the child’s choice. She is a mother of two boys and tries to give them the freedom to make such decisions. He also cites a story about her family.
– You can’t force and push when we see that training no longer brings joy to children. I’ve seen something like this with my son. We went to the game, he beat his “personal best”, but I felt something was wrong. Then he told me he ran off because he didn’t want to upset me. And that’s not the point.
A sport that is good for everything
What advice does Sułek have for parents of active children? Very similar.
– I would advise parents to give their children the space so that they can decide for themselves which sport gives them the most pleasure. And in order not to exempt them from physical education classes at school – with the right teacher with passion, they can be more valuable than anyone thinks – he assures.
– What can I advise my parents? That if they saw a talent for their child, they would follow him. Support, participate, positively of course. Don’t worry, because the main thing is to play – assesses Pyrek.
It also highlights other benefits, such as the impact of sports on mental health. – The research results are unambiguous. Sport, even among the youngest, has a positive effect on their psyche, it can relieve tension and release negative emotions. After all, this is essential when growing up.
– Exercise is good for everything. This is where the character begins to take shape. When the first moments of crisis appear, you have to fight. If we add it all up, there are only advantages – he sums up.
The text was created as part of the campaign “Little Player – Big Winner” organized together with the company 4F.
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Polish Athletics Monika Pyrek Adrianna Sułek