For most Moms, there comes a time when they consider signing their child up for a sports team or club. As with many aspects of motherhood, this can be quite stressful. Whether your child is shy, overly energetic, big, small, or indifferent, it’s natural to be concerned.
While worries are instinctive, they shouldn’t be the determining factors into whether or not your child plays sports. Sports can have tremendous benefits for kids:
- Physical fitness.
- Improves balance and co-ordination.
- Positive mental health implications.
- Excellent social outlet.
- Promotes teamwork and sportsmanship.
- Teaches them how to lose and recover.
To cover all angles, ask yourself the following series of questions. This will help guide you in finding the best way to start your child in sports.
Are they old enough for Sports?
Age is a consideration for some sports, but in general, having a physically active kid is healthy no matter their age.
For children who are five years old or younger, their motor skills are still being developed. At this age, sports that concentrate on these basic functions are the most suitable. For example, running, swimming, jumping, throwing, catching, etc.
From five to ten years old, children are usually ready for more complex sports, and they can benefit from a team environment. Although they may not be highly skilled or co-ordinated at this age, they will quickly develop in these areas.
From ten upward, kids advance into puberty and develop the physical attributes to play sports at a demanding level.
What sports should my child play?
There is no perfect sport for all children. Try to find a sport that matches your child’s interests, or that will benefit their personality.
While team sports have social and team benefits, individual sports and martial arts can be useful to develop confidence and self-belief.
How often should they play?
Children’s fitness and athletic abilities vary so this question can’t be answered directly. However, it is recommended that a child take at least one day off from sports per week. They should also take an off-season break from a sport that they play regularly.
What if they get hurt?
No Mom wants to see their baby suffer, so a fear of sports injuries is common among parents.
While injuries can happen in sports, serious ones are rare. The benefits generally outweigh the risks.
However, it’s important to have adequate insurance and legal representation if an accident does happen. In this case, your search for a skilled injury lawyer ends here. Ensure that your child is covered for worst-case scenarios.
What should you do if your child doesn’t like sports?
Nobody likes to be forced into anything. If your child doesn’t like the sport they’re playing; then their feelings should be respected.
However, some kids are naturally cautious and may take time to settle into a sport. They might need encouragement or a little push to get started.
The best approach is to come to an agreement with your child. Encourage them to participate for a short period just to “try it out”, leaving them the option to quit after a trial period. Alternatively, they could participate in different sports to see if there is a better fit for them.