What Sport Should My Kid Play

What Sport Should My Kid Play

I have a​ four year old son. He is​ very physically active and has great motor skills. Far better at​ most sports they I was at​ his age. Most of​ our friends have their children in​ sports and like most "soccer moms" they drive from event to​ event - especially on​ the​ weekends. we​ tagged along to​ a​ few soccer games and a​ number of​ things struck me during and after the​ games. the​ most obvious was that there were plenty of​ kids there who would have rather been somewhere else and who's parents were the​ excited part of​ the​ group. There were also parents yelling and carrying on. at​ their kids no less. This is​ not right I thought,​ I have to​ take a​ look at​ this.

By now you are saying "this guy must have been watching a​ game in​ some rough side of​ town" but nothing could be further from the​ truth. No the​ problem was not to​ be found in​ the​ surroundings or​ in​ the​ kids for the​ matter. it​ was to​ be found in​ the​ parents and their approach at​ the​ game. I would be a​ great blessing if​ someone would write the​ "how to​ get your kids into sports handbook - parents edition". I could hand them out by the​ box. Here is​ the​ basic problem. is​ the​ kid doing a​ sport because you expect him/her to,​ or​ because they have a​ great amount of​ fun when then play? Simple enough question right? Well I asked 10 parents after the​ game and all of​ them said,​ "oh he loves it". "Are you sure?" I would ask,​ "how can you tell?". I got some blank looks and some laughed. "We know out kids",​ were the​ most common answer. Did they I thought.

I next asked the​ kids one by one,​ what they liked about the​ game they just played. I got some rather interesting answers to​ be sure. "my friend Tommy was here",​ "I scored so daddy will be happy",​ "I wanted to​ go home,​ by belly hurt but I had to​ play". Had to​ play? Why? I asked. "My big brother played and I have to​ do everything he did". Ok now I had something to​ talk about. Lets take a​ look at​ why we​ have our kids in​ sports at​ all.

* Outdoor activity
* Keeps the​ physically active
* Builds strong bodies
* Builds self confidence
* Kids have fun
* Something we​ can do together

I am sure there are more reasons but these came up more often then any other in​ my little survey. in​ this case it​ was soccer but in​ the​ case of​ Hockey the​ outdoor element is​ obviously removed. None the​ less I feel that the​ parents intent here was to​ make the​ kid get out of​ the​ house,​ not to​ just be out doors. I mean it​ that was the​ case,​ make him run around the​ house a​ few laps. Keeping the​ child active is​ a​ great idea and with so many children being fatter then ever I am all for it. Again though,​ it​ that was all we​ could take a​ walk with them or​ ride our bikes. Why sports? Building of​ the​ bodies is​ true to​ an​ extent,​ but it​ can also be too much for a​ child. we​ have to​ make sure it​ is​ done with moderation. Self confidence. Now here is​ something I hear all the​ time. Sure when the​ kid is​ good at​ what they do and when they feel they can overcome problems by trying harder that is​ good,​ but what will happen to​ a​ 4 year old child who fails? we​ will get back to​ this is​ a​ moment. Kids have fun. I should hope so,​ but I saw a​ few who did not and there are some reasons why. And lastly,​ we​ do something together. Something we​ can both enjoy and be excited about. Fair enough,​ so long as​ that is​ not a​ one way street.

Lets break down these arguments further. What will motivate us to​ chose a​ sport for our children? Our own experience usually. Did we​ play something as​ kids. Were we​ good? I see parents projecting themselves onto their kids by first choosing the​ sport,​ then expecting allot from the​ kids. Often more then they can deliver. I saw a​ man in​ a​ part once who was throwing a​ softball to​ a​ very small buy,​ maybe 5 years old. the​ boy kept missing and missing and all the​ man said was "come on,​ try!". the​ buy tried and failed. Tried and failed. he started crying and his father said "there is​ no crying in​ baseball,​ now hit the​ ball". I was ready to​ take the​ father aside and show him my size 12 shoe but I thought better of​ it. we​ can all see what he did wrong,​ but can we​ see a​ lesser example of​ the​ same? Are we​ doing it​ maybe without knowing it. Perhaps.

We as​ humans learn much faster from failure then success so make sure you arrange for your children to​ succeed the​ first few times you do something with them. Positive thinking. if​ they fail anyway,​ change the​ thing you are doing until they succeed. I kicked a​ soccer ball to​ my son and although he could kick it​ back,​ he chose to​ pick it​ up with his hands. Instead of​ telling him that picking it​ up was bad and thus make the​ whole thing negative,​ I showed him how he could throw the​ ball to​ my foot and then I did the​ same. Soon the​ ball was back on​ the​ ground and we​ were playing like normal. They don't know the​ rules,​ they just want to​ succeed and they measure that success by your reaction and your praise. if​ they don't have any fun with something or​ just plain can't do it,​ move on​ to​ something else. Do not push them into some sport because that is​ what you wanted to​ do. Let them show you what they want. Expose them to​ several and observe them. Are they quick at​ picking up the​ rules? Can they do it​ will?

In the​ end it​ is​ most important that they have fun. They have fun if​ you are proud of​ them and if​ they are allowed to​ succeed. Give them every means to​ do so and let them lead the​ way. Not every kid will like soccer because his brother did. Let him chose for himself. That builds confidence.

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