Teaching the Kids
You don’t know how lucky you are, I was writing up a reply that was getting way too long and the site burped and I lost the entire thing!
Now for the abridged version.
One of the best tools in my garage is this ladder (if someone could explain how to attach a photo to a post I would be much obliged):
I tie it to the center posts to keep it from falling over. Both my girls, all their friends, and now my son all use it for learning and practicing new skills. (My son is an entire different topic for a future thread, he has Down Syndrome and will be a uni-rider some day, we’ll talk about disability tips later). There’s something nice about the open space below the horizontal section.
I taught both my girls and we’ve had a lot of uni-dads come to our club practice with their kids looking for help, somehow I always seem to end up with them. Some additional tips:
Don’t rush, explain it only takes time. Riding a unicycle is not impossible, it just takes time and practice. Keep it fun.
Practice with family, friends, and any other riders. Misery loves company. Have other riders help, when kids see someone as “coach” rather than “parent” they listen. We have both 5 & 6 yo kids riding, that is really encouraging & motivating to a kid who is learning.
Give them a sturdy structure where they can be centered, like the ladder or two sturdy chairs they can hold onto while rocking and getting used to the wheel. It is better they be able to stay centered rather than leaning onto a wall or fence. When they get to the stage when they are riding along a fence/wall, keep them centered.
When using one or two others as spoters, let the rider hold onto you rather than you grabbing them. I like to make a tight fist and have them place their hands over my fist. As they get more comfortable their grip will relax.
Try for good posture from the start. As I’ve stated in other threads, back straight and hips forward (the same thing I teach with skiing). With kids its easier to say “chin up” than get into complex instructions. Show them the proper posture, a good visual example is worth how many words? Its a lot harder to ride doubled over than sitting up.
Encourage them to launch into the abyss one step at a time. Counting peddle strokes is more motivating (two peddle strokes equals one full rotation). Try one stroke and step off, then two and step off, etc. in no time they’re wobbling all over.
Stop when too tired or re-gressing, this is supposed to be fun.
This is getting way too long again.