Participating in sports and other physical activity not only contributes significantly to a child’s physical, emotional, and social development, but it also boosts their potential success in school. Because of this, organized sports are very important for children of all ages. We know that figuring out which sports are well suited for your child can be a little bit of a challenge, so we’ve provided you with some helpful information below on choosing a sport.
Different Ages Means Different Stages.
Children under the age of six cannot fully grasp the idea of a sport and its rules. Before signing your child up for a particular sport, make certain they are at an age where he/she has the abilities to understand rules and absorb information. Also take into consideration the different levels of motor skill development. Many cities and towns have Pee Wee teams or a type of introductory league that can help your child learn a more structured way of “running around and kicking a ball”.
Think Outside The Box.
There are many team sports that don’t necessarily mean playing football or basketball. Explore other options such as, gymnastics, dance, swimming, golf, tennis, and volleyball. If your child is less athletic or does not operate well in a competitive team environment, there are many other options for them.
Make a Match.
Be sure to match your child’s personality style with the proper sport. Assertive and aggressive children are more suited for team sports such as basketball, soccer, and football. By participating in such sports, this will help them direct their aggressiveness and assertiveness on an outlet that is both productive and beneficial. Baseball, swimming, or track and field are some sports that are better suited for children who are passive and less assertive. They will be given more free space to earn their independence, which can be an effective way for them to gain more confidence.
Make It Their Choice.
Encourage your child to watch sporting events on television or bring them to sporting events to expose them to different sports. This will help guide you to see which sport he or she gravitates toward. During the event, take the time to explain what is happening and discuss the rules of the sport.
The great thing about trying out sports at a young age is that your child can try out something different the next season, regardless of whether or not his first choice is a good fit. Sports, whether individual or team, can be a source of satisfaction throughout life.
Here are some questions to consider when in the process of getting your child involved in sports:
- What is my child interested in? Does she want to stick with one sport or participate in several seasonal ones?
- What can I afford in time, money, and commitment?
- What is the coach's philosophy? Do we share the same values and beliefs about sports? Does this coach enjoy working with athletes at my child's level?
- Do all the kids in the program appear to be having fun? Are they all involved?
- Am I comfortable with the parents of the children who participate?
- Is the equipment and location safe? What procedures are followed if my child is injured?