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When and Why Kids Should Start Playing Sports

By: Krystle Crossman

Organized team youth sports are great for kids. It helps them to develop their motor skills, learn how to work as a team, build social skills, and gives them physical activity. There are many questions that parents have about sports such as when to start their children in a sport, which sport to put them in, and when to let them quit if they want to.

There is no “right” time to get your child involved in sports. It is all about your child and where they are at developmentally and emotionally. If you start your child in competition too early it can be frustrating for them and frustrating for you. It can also make them not like sports. Usually around age 6 or 7 is the best time to get your child into sports where they are competing. They have developed the motor skills to be able to play physically. They also have a better time understand the rules that are laid out for them.

Choosing the right sport for your child is very important as well. If you put them into baseball even though they have told you that they do not like baseball, this could turn them off to sports completely as well. Listen to their interests and ask them which sports they would like to play. If they get bored easily baseball may not be for them. If they like to move around a lot try soccer or tennis. Each child has their own unique skills and talents which may be suited better for one sport.

If you find that your child wants to quit, do not be angry at them. Try to figure out what the reason is first. If it is something small that can be fixed, tell that that you will try to fix it first and then see what happens. If they are in a sport where others are depending on them, try to explain the importance of being there for your team. If they are tired, are falling behind in school, or if they are just not happy playing the sport that they are it, it may be best to let them bow out.

Before you sign your child up for a sport talk with them and think long and hard about what will be the right fit for them. Registration fees and uniform fees can be expensive so it is best to make sure it is really what they want before you sign them up.

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