SL Interview: Karen Ronney and Her Proud Parents Guide

Karen Ronney is the proud parent of three athletic girls. She’s also the author of a new book titled “Proud Parents’ Guide to Raising Athletic, Balanced, and Coordinated Kids” (Thomas Nelson; Amazon). The book aims to educate parents (as well as grandparents and educators) about how to take responsibility for creating coordinated, healthy and active children.

Ronney is a former competitive tennis player who now coaches youth tennis and other sports. She is one of 24 finalists for the Double-Goal Coach award from Positive Coaching Alliance. In the book, she uses her personal and coaching experiences and journalism background to craft this hands-on guide. The first half of the book details how children progress, biologically and neurologically, from birth to age six, and explains why it’s so important to engage children in physical fitness activities at an early age. Such intervention is vital, Ronney writes, if only to counter the dual trends of youth obesity and the elimination of physical education classes in many schools.

The second half of the book offers age-appropriate games for parents to use to help their youngsters develop motor skills and coordination. Ronney notes that the 200 easy-to-use activities, designed for the first six years of a child’s life, do not require expensive equipment. And, she emphasizes, even the hardest-working parents can carve ten minutes from their busy schedules to play with their children. This type of interaction works wonders, Ronney says, because exercise jumpstarts developmental skills and promotes a lifetime of good fitness habits.

“The ‘Proud Parents’ Guide’ is not about raising a super-athlete,” Ronney writes. “It’s about raising a healthy kid with good skills and coordination, one who considers physical activity an essential and enjoyable part of daily life.”

SportsLetter interviewed Ronney by telephone from her home in the San Diego area.

— David Davis