Bowling or Baseball? Choosing The Right Sport For Your Kidsby Beth Pocalyko
Back to school, and back to signing your child up for fall sports! Starting at four years old, rec centers in most communities offer the traditional sports: soccer, lacrosse, baseball and basketball. In the spring, my son was on his first baseball team, and he loved it. There was never a whine about going to practice or how much longer the game was. This fall, he is so excited for soccer season to begin. But I know this feeling isn't shared by every kid that's starting up another sport season.
Some of my mommy friends have been complaining to me about how hard it is to get their child to stick to a sport. They have tried bribing them with toys and treats to finish out a soccer season because no one wants a quitter! Does this sound more familiar to you? Why don’t we stop ignoring their whines, and try to understand the reasons they don’t like the sport they are playing. Maybe they don’t like all the running that's in soccer, or they're just bored standing around on the baseball field. Not being good at a sport, but being forced to play, can really bring down a child’s self-esteem.
With all the bullying going on in today’s schools, building our children's confidence and bringing out the best in them at a young age is more important than ever. Everyone has one thing they are good at and as moms we need to find it!
Don't Be Afraid To Think Outside The Box
My friend’s son hated baseball. Season after season he tried everything he could think of to get out of practice and skip games. Then he discovered bowling and was really good at it. I know some of you might think bowling is not a sport, but as far as I'm concerned - if they show it on ESPN, it's a sport! Bowling has really instilled self-confidence in this young boy, and has helped him come out of his shell. Starting his third bowling season this fall, his parents are so happy that he's finally participating in a sport he loves.
Find A Sport That Plays To Your Child's Strengths
Maybe your child’s strength is running. I wish it was mine! Track and field starts at age six, and is a great way to teach them a healthy lifestyle, work as a team, and to compete with other runners. Don’t forget college scholarships!! Also, tennis is a great sport your child can play. Tennis is a great form of excercise, that they can play throughout their life. Make it a double match and you got yourself a team sport! Golf is another sport that teaches patience, competition, and independence to children. This is something you can do with your son or daughter on weekends, and on vacations!
I am not saying anything against the traditional sports we put our children in. My son Nicholas loves soccer, lacrosse, baseball, and football. I think these sports will be his strength, and a way for him to feel good about himself.
However, if my five month old son Chase is not interested in these same sports I will think outside the box of typical sports and try to find something he will enjoy. Sports teach teamwork, a healthy lifestyle, and leadership, but if your kid is in the wrong sport it may have the opposite effect on your child. So this school year, ask yourself - is your child in the right sport?