When I was growing up my parents put me in every sport they could think of. I started dance at the age of 3, gymnastics, t-ball, soccer, and cheerleading. My parents put me in all of these sports so I could be active, meet friends, and find something that I really like. By the age of 10 I decided which sport was my favorite and I chose which ones I wanted to continue doing. I choose to do competitive cheer and dance. I was lucky enough to get the choice of what I wanted to do and how long I still played for. Nowadays kids do not get that luxury. Now, kids are put in one sport, of their parents choice right when they are able to play. The parents pick whatever sport they might like best, which sport they think they could get a scholarship in, or what sport is the most popular. What happens if the kid likes football over baseball? Or just isn’t into running around a track?
I’ve come to the conclusion that parents choose everything. This is what hurting us in the rec field. If Bobby’s parents only want to put their son in soccer they won’t be signing up for are classes or joining any of our league teams. They will probably be signing him up for lessons, be in leagues for both summer and fall seasons, and won’t get a break from the sport. Research has shown that kids need their early years to discover who they are. According to Loyola Health center, kids who only play one sport are prone to injury. These kids are forced to focus on the sport only and will miss out on school events and hanging with friends. With all this pressure on one sport, the child could get injured at a young age and never even be able to play again. Is that really worth it?
I think that parents need to lay off with all the competitive attitude and remember themselves playing the game as a kid. They need to think about their child’s health, school, and social life. Parent’s should be putting kids in rec leagues and basic classes at a young age so they can meet friends and stay active. Starting sports young is a good thing but it is just how they go about it. Recreation professionals need to keep this in mind when making classes. They should make basic, entry level classes for beginners and also classes for kids who want to focus more on the sport. They also need to provide a fun, relaxed atmosphere for children and families to come to. Kids need to get a taste of all activities so they are not burnt out when they are older. It is a shame that the “star” player on the basketball team will be so tired of training by their sophomore year in high school that they quit.
It is wise to specialize in a vast variety of sports. Most kids aren’t going to go pro or even want to take their sport as a career so parents need to think about that when they are picking activities for their child. Kids need free play to discover themselves and to show their creative side. I think all parents should want their kids well rounded than an all star. Kids should be focusing on fun over competition. They should also experience everything they can as a kid because they will not get the opportunity as adults.
If you would like to read more here is a great article that expands on this interesting topic:
“Set your goals high, and don’t stop till you get there.” – Bo Jackson