Some children want to start playing sports at a fairly young age. They either get interested when watching a sporting event on the television or from tossing a ball around with dad. Playing sports at any age has a huge impact that can change their trajectory in life. Today we are looking at all the types of sports available, how you can support them, and the lessons they learn.
The Variety of Options
If your child just wants to expel a lot of energy, you may be wondering what the best sport is to put your child in. Here are a few examples:
- Softball/baseball – these games are similar with a few slight differences. Softball is slower pitching, bigger ball, and smaller diamond. This is not a full contact sport but accidents can still happen!
- Football – a full-contact sport, even at a young age. Getting hurt gets more serious as the children age and become stronger and bigger. While popular among young boys, girls are often welcomed with open arms.
- Soccer – not an intentional full-contact sport. You don’t tackle anyone like you would in football but since feet are the primary use, it is very likely one will get hurt while playing.
- Bowling – may not seem like a sport but it very much is. No contact and a great skill builder.
Get Them the Gear They Need
Supporting them isn’t just signing them up and letting them have at it. You got to make sure they have everything they need. That may be custom softball socks, helmet, shin guards, or wrist guards. Ask your league coach for advice on what your child needs and brands they may recommend. Getting a coach recommendation will help you navigate the crazy world of sporting goods. Don’t forget the water bottles, extra snacks for practices and games, and ride arrangements for those days when you can’t take them.
Aside from everything, be there and be their personal cheerleader. It doesn’t matter if it’s the first day of tryouts, the first football scrimmage, their first game as goalie, or the last bowling match, being there is the best thing you can do for your child and their self-esteem. It also allows you to get excited for your child and see that they are safe and learning great stuff.
They Learn More in Sports Than on the iPad
The lessons that a child learns by playing in a youth league are almost innumerable. Their social skills improve because they form bonds with their teammates and feel more confident stepping out into the world knowing they are a part of something other than the family unit. They learn how to work together and most importantly, good sportsmanship. Good sportsmanship can be difficult when winning becomes the center of everything, but children enjoy supporting and cheering their teammates on and rely on their understanding that those same people will support them in return. When they see their family in the stands cheering them on, they learn that they do matter and are important to others that they love and adore.
There are also physical health lessons that come into play in youth sports. They learn more about what their body can and cannot do. They feel strong as they grow and build muscle. They learn more about healthy nutrition in order to stay in the best shape for their chosen sport.
Team youth sports is a wonderful activity for all children to engage in, no matter their skill level. We advise you do check with your child’s doctor to be sure they are physically ready for their new hobby. We suggest you get a new calendar so that you can manage all the practices, games, and slumber parties with new friends.