Teaching children sports is not a new concept. Teaching children in the ways they learn best is also not a new concept.  But teaching children sports in the ways they learn best is a new concept.

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It's Sports Reimagined


(3) Key Ingredients that Make Us Different


1. Instruction

 As the foremost thought leader in early learning and youth sports developmental programming, Jelly Bean Sports offers your family an opportunity to get a premiere sports experience.  We have reimagined the sports process and in doing so created new ways for children to be introduced to sports that actually work and ways also for families to bond.  

An Extra Pair of hands

The reason most early learning sports classes don't work is because programs don't see parents are a resource that can positively affect children's learning.  Coaches are left with the expectation that they must do it all.  No parents in the gym policies exist.  Those policies are more a shield for coaching that is too often failing under the pressures to perform amidst the naturally unsportsmanlike creatures that are early learners.  As the saying goes, it takes a village to raise a child and at Jelly Bean Sports, we very much embrace the parent-child dynamic.  Who knows your child better then you?  We, especially in the beginning, will ask you to be our extra pair of hands until young children warm up and become more confident and independent in their thinking.

Make Kids Coachable    

At the end of the day, one thing matters, make kids coachable.  Granted there are many things that go into this including what we teach children and how we engage them but the ultimate impact we aim to have on your child is to make him or her more coachable.  We will effectively and efficiently prepare your child to enter the next phase of sport that lies ahead. What does it mean to make a child coachable?  A coachable child thinks independently.  Now for early learners, this is a paradigm shift from their everyday life where we, as parents, do much of the thinking for them.  But what you will see in the Jelly Bean Sports classroom is not everyday life.  It is an ideal, a performance-based (Sesame Street-style but for sports) approach that is based in research.  We know and believe every child has the potential to be an independent thinker.  And, it is our system and coaching techniques (i.e. the Jelly Bean Way) that are designed to bring that independent thinker (i.e. inquisitive, asks questions, communicates, critically thinks, good listener) out of your child.      

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2. Production

The first to introduce original animation into the early learning sports classroom, it is just one example of how we take a production-based approach to what we do.  Sports and the basis for sports, sports research, are very linear in their approach.  Creatively, sports has struggled to capture the imagination of young children and hence the reason early learners and early learning in general has been left behind in sports' otherwise extraordinary growth.

Keep Sports Simple

There is still much to be learned about the early learning sports process.  But one thing we know is it is much easier to say, keep sports simple, then it is to execute.  Sports tradition plays a big role in sports evolution.  If you understand the sports process as we do, you see youth sports and two book ends, one on either side of it.  On one side, there is early learning in sports and on the other, elite sports.  In many ways youth sports today reflects all we know, the elite or more professionalized ways sports are done.  Sports evolution has occurred in more of a trickle-down effect.  At Jelly Bean Sports, we see sports and its evolution differently.  It is more organic or in the ways we all would like to more think about it, in sequential terms, early learning to elite with youth sports in the middle.  After all, it is the more natural order of sports.  By beginning at the beginnings, we are provided more liberties where thinking that starts with elite sports in mind is not.  Basically, we are not bound to the great influence of sports tradition, we are more grounded in the principles of the possibilities.  And this is more where a young child's mind lies.  It is the more creative or production side of our thinking that, when put into play, makes complex sports concepts simple.

Make learning fun

Jelly Bean Sports didn't just evolve on its own.  It was the product of much research, formal and informal.  Informally, a study of the best in children's entertainment back in 2006, revealed environments of young children thriving instead of, as they were in most sports environments, just trying to survive.  The dramatic disparity between children's entertainment and young children's sports experiences was a giant signal that a change in sports was needed.  Like keeping sports simple, saying that we are going to make learning fun is often easier said then done.  Instead of fun simply being mediocre, at best, an unsustainable, depreciating effect within a sports program, our Company founder felt it necessary to put fun front and center.  This required following children's entertainment lead, creating a systematically universal way of engaging that worked for the greater majority of children.  In the end, Jelly Bean Sports, ironically enough, is not about sports.  It was about children and family how we engaged them.  Sports are merely a medium that we have to use to make the extraordinary things we do possible.  The idea of conforming sports to fit children instead of conforming children to fit sports has made all the difference in our ability to see fun and execute it on a high level at every point inside of every class.     


3. Research

Jelly Bean Sports is a science-based program.  Its Founder, Dr. Brad Kayden's work as an early learning practitioner and sports development researcher is leading the way to better understanding of the overall sports development process.

He possess several research firsts: 

research first - defined early learning in sports

Early learning, although often treated the same, it is very different from youth sports.  A preschool-aged learner is not the same as an elementary-aged learner.  Making this distinction, it would later lead him to create a category in sports exclusive to early learners.  It then became necessary to learn how early learners connected and integrated to the rest of the phases in sports since what they more represented was the unsportsmanlike than sportsmanlike.  

Research first - discovery of The Natural Order of Sports

Dr. Kayden's discovery of a natural order of sports to exist solved this problem.  It identified basic sports success principles that exist at every level of sports, early learning to elite, that, for the first time, integrated the sports process.  In the end, it will make it easier for you and everyone else to better understand, generally, how children are meant to progress through their athletic careers.  They are success principles integrated into every facet of the Jelly Bean Way.

research first - establishment of a new absolute origin of sports  

Natural Order of Sports would require him to further define the sports process in terms that more included than excluded this early learning ideology.  It required Dr. Kayden to establish a new absolute origin or entry age into sports.  Previous empirical research established the entry point into sports to be age 6.  This left a five year gap in our thinking that created confusion especially as early learning programs (i.e. infant swim, mommy & me classes, early learning sports classes) started to become increasingly more popular.  Instead of the entry point into sports being 6 years, Dr. Kayden's research, using evidence from his early learning practice, simplified things, filled the gap and called the absolute origin of sports to be birth.  

Research first - Creation of the first early learning model in Research

In the all, Dr. Kayden's study of early learners and early learning in sports would eventually lead him to create the first early learning developmental model in sports research.  It will pave the way for others to better understand how the introductory process is generally structured.  It is programs like Jelly Bean Sports that have long been using this model that are creating the programming and coaching benchmarks needed to bring the model to life in a way that works for children effectively and efficiently. 

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