WATCH: Think About It, Season 2 Teaser


As a parent, Victoria Azarenka is in the process of integrating her son into early childhood education, making athletic educator Melody Johnson an ideal final guest for the second season of her Think About It podcast.

“What was important for me to understand as a parent is that while academics is most important, the social skills and emotional support will be what makes them better in academics,” says Azarenka of her five-year-old Leo.

Johnson started out as a martial arts instructor who found a need to specialize how different age groups are taught her sport in a way that makes it both fun and easy to digest.

“I noticed I was teaching roller coaster classes,” she explains. “If the drill was challenging enough for a 12-year-old, the seven-year-old couldn’t keep up because it was beyond their stage of development. So, I would make the next drill easier but then the 12-year-old was getting bored. The 12-year-olds were leaving class because it was too easy and the seven-year-olds were leaving because it was too hard, even though they were the same belt level.

“I started splitting students up by age, rather than rank. A three- and four-year-old has hard time processing beyond three commands, but we were trying to teach patterns of moves that weren’t working. Once I understood that, I wrote out what each age group should expect.”

Johnson took that same methodology onto her son’s flag football team, leading them to three straight years of championship runs.


“The way his coach was talking to the kids, it was like he was talking to teenagers, and they’re not. It was so painful to watch as an expert in child development.

“We’ve since made the championships all three seasons, and it’s not because I recruited the best kids but because I knew what the expectations were and I’m coaching them accordingly.”

Check out the full episode as Johnson and Azarenka bond over raising children, and the importance of raising them to become the best version of themselves.

Stream all episodes of Think About It—available on multiple domestic and international Tennis Channel platforms.