4 Things to Consider When Choosing a Sport
Playing a team sport benefits children in so many ways. All of my children have enjoyed playing on a team at some time or another. Not only did they sharpen their playing skills, they learned how to work together with other team members, how to follow the coach’s directions, and how to win (or lose) graciously. But before you sign up your child for a team, here are a few things you should consider:
Your Child’s Interest
While my oldest son loves getting outside and getting sweaty, his sister is much happier sitting indoors in the air conditioning reading a book. That’s not to say she doesn’t need to get out and get some physical activity; it just means she won’t be playing the same sports (or at least not to the same extent) as her brother. While he played on a soccer team that had practices and games several times a week, she was content to join a more recreational group that only met once a week.
Your Child’s Abilities
If your child is just starting to play a sport, signing him or her up for a competitive team will most likely end up frustrating both your child and the other team members. Find an organization or league for beginning players. Many of these guarantee plenty of field time for your child.
Your Family’s Schedule and the Time Commitment
This is an especially important consideration if you have several children. Unless you can arrange for carpooling, you’ll probably have to be one the drive your child to and from every practice and game. When games are in the afternoons, often only one parent can be there. And if you have younger children, they usually have to go along too. In some leagues, the teams travel long distances to compete, which means lots of hours in the car with little ones.
Before your child starts, be sure to find out how much the membership and equipment is going to cost. Although we want our kids to be growing and improving as team members, there are limits to how much most of us can afford. It’s easy for me to spend more than we have budgeted because I want my child to be “happy.” But financially-burdened parents often leads to a stressful home, not a happy child.
Although playing on a team can help your child grow in so many ways, there are things that need to be considered in order to make it a good experience for the whole family.
What are some things that have influenced your decision?