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Blog guest - Robert Križanović

Swimming as a basic sport is key to children's development!
Robert Križanović, founder of RK - Fitness Solutions

At the age of six, he began to get acquainted with one of the three basic sports through play. He fell in love at first sight. At that time, he had no idea that he would "swim" on the gymnastics podium for 16 years, under the flag of Serbia. Today, Robert Križanović is a leader in the fitness industry in Europe and the Middle East.

As a Swimming Dad #Blog guest, Križanović is giving us answers to the following questions: How important is the basic sport in children's health development? How much is sport/swimming important in children’s education and behavior? How important is it that a children have the chance to swim the whole year long?

How important is the basic sport in children's health development?

Absolutely essential.

Not only that it builds the body and set a base for healthy lifestyle but it builds much more than that: Discipline, respect, hard work and reward mechanism, friendship and support. Therefore it is absolutely necessary to speak about both physical and mental development as one. The base sports are helping children to build essential physical abilities that as a base in every sport (hence the word “base”) and as such are helping later to easily build the other, specific skills required in other sports too.

How much is sport/swimming important in children’s education and behavior?

Absolutely crucial.

Not only that it develop the skills but it helps children to feel in the water as it’s being their natural environment. Those fine movements required in swimming techniques necessary to “feel” the water right are not only beautiful but essential to help children refine their movement patterns in every single part of their body, as well as to create movement of the body as complex system. By participating in the training, children will learn to respect the water (oppose to be afraid of), learn to respect the coach, understand and respect the process of learning, and respect the time and effort required to tirelessly practice every stroke, every kick, every head movement, etc..,.over and over again.

How important is it for you that your children have the chance to swim the whole year long?

We are very fortunate that we live in Dubai, an Emirate that has costal line, beaches and great weather all year long (ok, Summer is a bit extreme though). That provides with opportunity to spend time together as family in and near the water which we all love so much. It is great to be able to go to water all year long since it is a chance and opportunity to have a continuity in the activity and to keep improving the technique, and keep improving in skills. However, equally important is to be outdoors, spend time near water, play and enjoy every moment in nature together as family. Teenage years, in which our son is at the moment, have their difficulties in parenting. Never the less, once we are at the beach or in the water, we cannot get him out. Both our children enjoy the water a lot. It is truly rewarding to see our children being happy in this natural environment.

As a parent and as a sports manager professional what is your message to parents of today?

It is indeed very important to start children in sport as early as possible. They learn easily and fast when they are young. As parents we should be disciplined and persistent in creating a habit of training and physical activity for them when they are young. Once the instilled, the habit will most like stay there and sport will become part of their life. When I say sport, I don’t mean professional sport but sports in which children can learn and develop through play.

More about Robert Križanović you can find here - https://robkrizanovic.com

My first sport was?

Started at the age of 6, my career as athlete in Artistic Gymnastics was rich and satisfying by all means. Started from an early age I have never dreamed that I would last in the sport for 16 years as active athlete and as coach after that.

The beginnings were just as same as those of other kids involved in this sports. Training twice a week for an hour the training was more like fun and discovery rather than serious activity. That was till coaches discovered my talent for the sport (at least this is what they told me). Then my training program have started intensifying and from 2 training per week we increased to 3 at first and then to 6 later.

My first competition was only a year after I have started training. I found a competition as a drive to learn more, try harder, become better. Training between 2 and 3.5 hours per day for many years have helped me to reach senior level and A team maturity sooner, hence at the age of 16 I had my first international tournament. That was a whole new level for me but equally motivating as all the competitions before that. Gaining more and more experience by competing internationally as part of the national team of Serbia I have participated on reputable tournaments and championships in Europe.

After 16 years of actively competing I have decided to hang my hand grips (protection for the hands used on horizontal bar and rings) and start working professionally in sports and fitness as coach.

Who was the one who introduced sport to you and built that love?

My elder brother was a gymnast too. I remember watching him at his training and seeing him at competitions. As it usually is my parent enrolled me at first but shortly after, I found the effort rewarding on its own and I fell in love with the sport. Friends and coaches were playing major role in “keeping the fire burning”. There were days that were happy and exciting and days when I wanted to give up. They truly helped overcome all the obstacles and challenges playing a role of extended family and being my support every step of the way. Support of my family was crucial as well as they were always able somehow to find ways and buy me what is needed for the sport that will help me become better: the essential gear for training, to cover expenses for participation at competitions, assisting with sponsorship deals, etc.

Professional career after gymnastics

Building his career for over 20 years, Robert, has been operating clubs in Europe and Middle East. While learning about the business from within, developing and acquiring a variety of different skillset, in his career of personal growth from Coach to COO, Robert gained unique experience in Fitness Industry as leader - https://robkrizanovic.com

By his own words, Robert describes his career as “interesting journey with fortunate mix of passion, dedication and belief”.

Fitness First Middle East, Gold’s Gym Middle East, have been just a couple of big names with whom Robert has learned everything about managing people and business, club operation and strategies. His experience in specialized fitness boutique studios gave a special note to his career. With an experience ranging from big international chains to local brands; small boxes to big boxes; traditional fitness businesses to specialized studios; high end luxury offering facilities to basic set up fitness facilities, Robert has helped numerous businesses to find their way, and helped to bring investors vision to reality.


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