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Sunday, 07 April 2013 11:28

Recommendations on When To Get Your Child Into Organized Sports

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Considering sports and other kid-friendly physical activities to give your child a head start on lifelong fitness but don't know where or when to start? Start Here!

Most Pediatricians and Child Psychologists recommend not getting your child active in an "organized" sport until the age of 8. To many parents this seems as being too late but they give some very good reasons for their recommendations on why to wait.

While preschoolers can throw and run fairly well, it usually takes some time before they can coordinate the two skills together. It usually isn't until 8 years old when most kids have developed the appropriate physical skills, the attention span needed to listen to and follow directions, can grasp the rules of the game or taking turns and truly start to understand the concept of winning or losing that are all crucial to many sports.

While they don't recommend them being in an "organized" sport until 8 years old, they do recommend getting them active in some type of physical and/or sports related activity.

So How & When Should I Start My Child?

Between Ages 2 to 5 children just begin to master many basic motor skills. At this age, unstructured free play is usually best recommended.

For Example:

  • Running
  • Climbing
  • Kicking
  • Tumbling
  • Dancing
  • Playing catch with a lightweight ball
  • Pedaling a tricycle or a bike with training wheels
  • Supervised water play

You can also get them involved in some type of structured motor skill development programs that use sports related activities such as throwing, catching and kicking a ball. If you do so, it is recommended that you do so for no more than 1 hour once a week.

Ages 6 to 7: As children get older, their coordination and attention spans improve. This is the time they start to better follow directions and understand the concept of teamwork. You can consider getting them more active in learning about the concept of playing sports such as learning basic sport fundamentals and the basic objectives of the sport. This should be done without the focus of keeping score, winning or losing.

Age 8 and older: By age 8, most competitive sports may be acceptable. This includes some contact sports so long as your child wears all appropriate protective gear. Carefully supervised strength training is OK at this age too so long as it is natural, like push-ups or resistance training (No Weights).


My Child is Older & Was Never Interested in Sports but Now Is?

If you are getting an older child active in an organized sport who has never played before, it is best to take the time to help them learn the skills necessary for that sport before just letting them jump into it. Try to find a camp or clinic that looks to introduce a child to the sport the first time. You can also find a friend of theirs or a friend of the family who has already spent time playing the sport to practice and teach them the basic skills and fundamentals they will need to play.


What If My Child Isn't Interested in Sports?

Not all children may be interested in sports and that's OK. If your child doesn't seem interested in sports they aren't the only option for fitness. You can find other physical activities to help keep them healthy & fit like biking, running, dancing and much more.

For Example, You Could:

  • Take family bike rides
  • Have Family play-time at a local park
  • Visit any of the numerous hiking trails located throughout Southern Nevada

You can also encourage active time with friends like jumping rope, shooting baskets or playing tag. You can even encourage fitness through video game systems like the XBOX Connect, Wii & Playstation Move that prompt dancing, virtual sports or other types of aerobic and physical movement.


Read 3804 times Last modified on Wednesday, 10 April 2013 09:59