Gigi Fernandez: Baby Goes Pro
Published December 23, 2010 12:00
Confidence, self-esteem, positive body image, improved health, energy and communication skills - research has shown those are all benefits of introducing sports to children at a young age. So when former WTA standout Gigi Fernandez was looking for a product to help her introduce her twins to sports and couldn't find anything on the market, she started Baby Goes Pro.
Baby Goes Pro is a DVD series that provides children and parents technically correct, fun and instructional ways to learn the basics of sports, in particular baseball, basketball, golf, soccer and tennis. It encourages kids to play and inspires them to move - the mission of the company is to help kids lead active, healthy lifestyles, and starting them young will set them on the right path.
The first DVD, Discover Sports, stars Emkei the monkey, a 3D character who, along with pro athletes, shows the basics for each sport in a fun way.
"It was important to me that every shot in our series be technically correct," Fernandez said. "If your three-year-old has been watching Baby Goes Pro, the first time he or she sees a tennis racquet, they will know how to pick it up and swing it. The same goes for gripping a golf club or shooting a basket.
"When I was playing professionally, if I wanted to learn how to improve my technique, I would watch videos of people better than me to learn from them. I am a very visual learner so I thought, why not use the same principal to start teaching kids how to play sports early on?"
Baby Goes Pro has already been a big success. It sold out on Amazon and was featured on the cover of the New York Times, and the TV commercial has been featured on major networks. First Lady Michelle Obama, who has been behind the Let's Move! initiative to reduce childhood obesity, has also touted it.
For more info on Baby Goes Pro, visit www.babygoespro.com.
Gigi Fernandez is one of the WTA's most accomplished players, particularly in doubles, where she won 17 Grand Slam titles and two Olympic gold medals and made it all the way to No.1 in the world. Her singles career was also strong, reaching the quarterfinals or better at Grand Slams three times (including the Wimbledon semifinals in 1994). She retired from pro tennis in 1997.