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Tuesday, 02 April 2013 15:44

Determining You & Your Child's Readiness for Organized Sports

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readysportsBefore just finding any league or team to throw your kid onto, your family should really sit down, talk about the question's below to determine if your child and your family are really ready to jump into the world of organizaed youth sports:

Participating in youth sports and physical activity programs can contribute positively toward developing:

  • Physical fitness and a healthy lifestyle
  • Self-confidence and self-esteem 
  • Motor skills 
  • Social skills 
  • Sportsmanship and ethics
  • Fun and enjoyment of physical activity

Developing those important life skills should play a central role in the reason why you determine getting your child involved in an organized youth sports program.

The following area outlines the important elements of deciding whether you and your child are ready. This is something that all parents/guardians should consider before enrolling a child in any organized sports program. Each question addresses an item that is integral to a quality sports experience for your children and is based on recommendations outlined by the National Association of Sports & Physical Education.

Consider your answers to each of these questions as you evaluate your family's readiness and as you evaluate the various local community-based physical activity programs for your child. Keep in mind your child’s characteristics (age, skill level, maturity, interests and special needs) in relation to each area and its components and consider how the answers to those questions will affect your child’s participation.

Recognize what should be prioritized for you and your child and whether or not everyone is ready.

Should you answer any of these questions with a “No,” don't give up. Take the time to address the issue(s), plan for them and then revisit the question(s) again in the future.

Remember that your child should want to play, never force a child into playing a sport!


Evaluate Your Child's Readiness to Participate

  • Do your child’s interest level and desire to have fun match the group or team’s philosophy?
  • Do your child’s age, skill level and size match the group or team?
  • Is your child emotionally and socially mature, as compared to those in his or her age group?
  • Do your child’s interest and ability match the group or team’s level of intensity and competitiveness? 
  • Does the group or team include children with special needs?
  • Does the group or team encourage cultural and gender diversity through its structure, activities and attitudes? 
  • Does the coaching staff treat all children with respect and give meaningful opportunities to learn skills and participate fully? 
  • Does the coaching staff challenge and articulate expectations appropriately?
  • Does the coaching staff provide a wide variety of opportunities?

Your Commitment to Your Child's Participation

  • Are you willing to support your child’s interests and realize that having fun is the most important reason that children choose to participate in sport and physical activities?
  • Are you willing to provide the necessary time and assistance (i.e., encouragement, transportation, meeting attendance, volunteering, observing) each week to ensure a successful experience?
  • Do you understand the financial and time costs associated with participation?

     - If yes, can you meet such costs?
     - If no, does the group or team provide assistance for children or families with financial needs?

  • If the organization or league doesn’t provide adequate coverage, are you willing to provide insurance coverage for your child?
  • Are you willing to respect and support coaches’ and officials’ decisions, even though you might disagree with them?
  • Are you willing to discuss in private any concerns you have with the coaching staff? 
  • Are you willing to act supportively of the coaching staff as teachers of your child?
  • Are you willing to respect and follow the rules and procedures of the club, league or organization that is providing the program for your child?
  • Are you willing to adjust family time as necessary to support your child’s participation? 
  • Are you willing to support your child’s active involvement by emphasizing participation, skill development, cooperation and teamwork?
  • Are you willing to be a supporter who focuses on the positive aspects of youth sport and physical activity programs?


Read 4299 times Last modified on Wednesday, 10 April 2013 16:44