With so many different sports and programs offered for kids today, it can be overwhelming for parents to choose the right sport for their child. Do you want your kid to be a soccer star or tennis pro? Think they would crush it on the basketball court? It’s important to remember that you know your child best when making this decision.
Use the following questions as a guide to choose the right sport for your child.
Will my child enjoy participating in this sport?
Choosing a sport that your child shows a true interest in is the most important goal. Children spend several hours a week practicing and playing the sport, so make sure it’s something they can look forward to each week. Make the decision and open conversation between you and your child to hear what they seem most interested in. While kids tend to change interests quickly and often, they will be more likely to stick with something they wanted to do from the get-go.
Can I afford this sport?
Extracurricular activities often come with added costs, including team fees or lessons, uniforms and equipment, and competition costs. Make sure to do your research to see what extra costs will be required by looking online or talking to parents with children who participate in the sport. Sometimes the costs can depend on how serious or advanced your athlete is, but some sports require a big price tag upfront.
What am I looking for my child to get out of their experience?
Sports come in all shapes and sizes. Define the goal of your child’s sports experience. Sports like soccer, basketball and lacrosse not only develop athletic abilities, but also work to build values like teamwork and cooperation. If you are looking for your child to gain skills such as self-determination and personal accountability, consider individualized sports like gymnastics, swimming or tennis.
Can we try it out?
Many programs will allow you to sign your child up for a trial at little or no cost. The best way to make sure that you choose the right sport for your child is to let them try it out! Watch to see how they perform and if they are having fun. Chances are if they ask you to do it again after their trial, it is going to be a good fit!
Sports are a fun way for kids to get active and develop skills and values that last a lifetime, all you have to do is choose the right sport!