My Children in Sports:
When, Where, Why & How
It is important to introduce your children to sports. It will help them have a lifelong advantage to stay fit and healthy.
We at Positive Coaching believe that organized sports teach life long lessons. How to work/play fair, how to work/play hard, how to work/play with others, how to communicate and much more.
Be careful not to force a sport on a child that has no interest in that sport. Try taking them to sporting events and observe their interest. Talk to them about the sports you played and your passion for them. Don't force you sport on them. I have made that mistake as a parent.
At what age should you introduce them to a sport? I have no concrete answer for that. Try taking them to a local recreation center and see what's available. Sign them up for a few that peek their interest. Make sure that it doesn't add stress to the family unit and can be enjoyed by all involved. Do not get too involved in competitive clubs until you are sure you and your child feel comfortable with the fit.
I prefer that children play a variety of sports thought out the year. The Mayo clinic has this same philosophy when it comes to the prevention of sport injury. Different sports use different muscles and joints in the body, keeping the body well balanced. This also prevents burn out before they reach High School. Don't rule out the arts, they definitely enhance a child's development as a member of society.
Be safe with your child's coaches. Does the organization provide training for their coaches like Positive Coaching's online certification programs?
Observe the coach, does he or she teach proper fundamentals to avoid injuries? Is the coach interested in the whole team and not just a few members? Does the coach have a proper attitude when it comes to officials, language, and habits? Remember they are teaching those life lessons as stated above. Does the coach have the necessary communication (verbal and non-verbal) skills? Does the organization have a practice of background checks including the history and training of their coaches? Does the organization have a good sports behavior policy for the parents and fans?
The bottom line to make sure that your child continues to play sports is that they need to have fun. After a practice or game the first thing you should ask your child is "did you have fun", then let them tell you why. We are all building the foundation of the future though our children. Let's keep them in the game!