How Ninja Warrior Class Brought the Athlete Out in My Child

Over the years, my kids have played soccer, baseball, gymnastics and basketball. They’ve taken swimming lessons and dabbled in taekwondo. These sports taught valuable lessons like teamwork, discipline and how not to drown, all while achieving my goal of getting their muscles moving and their hearts pumping. I consider it time—and money—well spent.

Our kids are lucky. The variety and accessibility of sports and activities has grown substantially in the past 20 years. While there are some kids who stick with one or two sports, many are trying out all kinds of fun pastimes like archery, rock climbing, dodge ball and organized foam sword fighting (yes, really).

Recently, my nine-year-old son began taking ninja warrior classes. Based on the hugely popular television show, “American Ninja Warrior,” children spend an hour climbing, running, jumping and scaling all sorts of obstacles.

For my little monkey, this is heaven. He’s always seen the world as his personal jungle gym. Just last week I caught him hanging off the gutter of an elementary school, so I like the idea of him climbing in a safe space for an hour a week. He’s getting stronger, faster and becoming more agile.

Ninja classes hold his interest more than any sport he’s participated in, and it’s not just because the gym is run by Drew Drechsel, a warrior the kids have watched on TV.