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Parents’ Guide to School Sports: Benefits, Q&A, Tips

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Parents’ Guide to School Sports: Benefits, Q&A, Tips

Have you thought about signing your kids up for sports? Whether there is a school team, a parish league, or an option somewhere in the city, there are advantages to playing on a team.

Benefits of Participating In Sports

Most people know that participating in sports is a great form of exercise that can lead to continued physical activity throughout your child’s lifetime, but did you know that sports teach life skills as well? Those include:

  • Sportsmanship
  • Communication
  • Leadership
  • Resilience
  • Team Work

Sports can also help kids develop a habit of working hard to reach their goals, which is essential to succeeding in school and eventually their future career path.

What Age Should They Begin?

City leagues generally begin at four years old. The earlier you can start them, the better. Just don’t expect for them to excel right away. Most young children don’t have the coordination or the attention span to play to their full potential. It may also take some time to find a sport that your kid enjoys.

Note: For those thinking about taking on a new sport in middle school or high school, it’s never too late! Just know that, at this level, the competition for a spot on the team is higher, and it will take some preparation to ensure participation. [See the next section for details!]

How to Prepare for the Season

Although young children can show up for the first day of practice without preparation, around age 7 and up, kids are expected to show up with some level of skill and endurance. This is especially true for competitive leagues and club teams. Here’s what you can do:

  • Start practicing a month in advance – scrimmage in your back yard or at a nearby park, work on some skills and drills your coach used in the previous season, and perform sport-specific strength and endurance work.
  • Pick Up Another Sport – Keep your kids engaged in activity year-round by having them play multiple sports. It will help them cross-train and build areas of weakness, especially if there is some cross-over. For example, volleyball players make great goalies during soccer season and sprinters can make solid running backs.
  • Hire a Personal Trainer – This is especially helpful for teens looking to gain power in their sport of choice. It will help correct any muscular imbalances and develop a stronger movement patterns to maximize energy and efficiency.

Options & Alternatives for Non-Competitive Kids

Let’s face it. Not all kids are good at sports and some simply don’ like them. Our advice: Don’t force it. Instead, find physical activities that they do enjoy.

  • Dancing
  • Hiking
  • Martial Arts
  • Yoga
  • Boating
  • Rock Climbing
  • Skating
  • Running/Jogging

If your kid is a teen, you can even get them a membership at your gym and attend classes together. As long as they stay active doing something they enjoy, you’re on the right track.

Are you planning to sign you kid(s) up for sports this year? Share your story in the comments below.

Stronger for Today,

The Method3 Fitness Team

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