Your Kid’s Not Going Pro

A Youth Sports Blog

Archive for the ‘stop and give me twenty’ Category

Wii Fit is God

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I’m not on the Nintendo payroll, and whatever deity you may or may not worship knows that the company isn’t throwing me any cabbage so I can hype its products on a site that so far has gotten seven unique visitors. (But, Nintendo, I’m a hopeless whore, so feel free to contact me with any offer!)

Still, I can’t stop from raving about Wii Fit, to the point where people on my train wish I would do something less annoying, like sniffle loudly as I have a long conversation on my cellphone regarding butt warts.

It’s a beautifully simple product. You use a remote and a balance board (which looks like a cheap bathroom scale) to perform numerous exercises and games (yes, games) to improve your fitness. There’s yoga, strength training, aerobic training and balance games. Wii Fit can put you through a daily body test to measure your weight and balance, and charts it all. You can log in other physical activity so the trainer (male version, pictured above) doesn’t make passive-aggressive comments about where you’ve been.

The pluses are many. First, it’s convenient. You don’t have to drive to a gym, or worry about whether it’s too cold and icy to run. Second, it’s educational. You’re instructed in how to do exercises the correct way, including images that pop up to show how well you’re balancing (that Tylenol with the red dot pictured above), thus showing you whether you’re getting the benefit of your exercise. Third, it’s competitive. You’re scored on how well you do each exercise. The better you score, the quicker you unlock more reps and more exercises. Also, you can compare yourself to other family members, friends or hobos who come through and use the system as well.

Now what does this have to do with youth sports? Why, I’m glad I asked.

If you have a child who is not athletically inclined or tends to be inactive, this is an easy, painless way to get him or her to exercise. After all, it IS a video game. With my own kids, even if I’m being hardass dad and putting a limit on killing zombies or chasing after the Lego Ark of the Covenant, I’ll tell them they still can play Wii Fit.

Invigorating, but technically not exercise.

If you have a child who is involved with sports, at any level, Wii Fit lets you hire a personal trainer for your kids without spending a bunch of money (about $400 total for the system and Wii Fit, assuming you can find either) or embarrassing yourself by admitting to people you hired a personal trainer for your 3-year-old. Yes, a 3-year-old can figure out Wii Fit; at least mine has.

I’ve had Wii Fit only since November, but I’ve noticed my 11-year-old son has more energy and quickness on the basketball court thanks to his frequent workouts, and that my 6-year-old is more balanced and stronger when he bowls. (Hey, bowling is a sport!) It will interesting to see how it affects my 9-year-old daughter when softball starts, but in the short term it’s sparked an interest in yoga, so much so that she’s now signed up for classes at a real yoga studio. She’s also started talking about Buddhism, thus indeed turning Wii Fit into a religious experience.