Just a generation ago, kids came home from school, ate a snack and headed to the neighbor’s or the park for a game of pick-up. There were no parents, coaches or officials keeping score, making rules or organizing playoff brackets. Of course, these kids all knew the score, but they played because it was fun not for a trophy or scholarship.
Our kids, on the other hand, start training and lessons in organized sports in preschool. By the time they’re eight, they can find themselves on a “travel” team wearing a personalized jersey and going for the gold.
With the prominence of competitive sports in our children’s lives, it seems more kids are starting to compete at younger ages. Furthermore, the era of the three-sport athlete is gone. Young athletes who once might have gone from soccer to basketball to tennis are now competing in only two or worse simply one sport before they enter high school. What does this mean for our kid, our families, our communities?
Join us as we explore the answers to some of the following questions:
- At what age is a child old enough to handle the pressure of a competitive team?
- How does your family decide in which sports your child will participate and how often?
- What factors play a role in a parent or child’s decision to focus on one sport?
- Do organized sports dominate your family’s time? If so, how do you feel about this?
- Is it okay to force your child to play a sport for the benefit of the exercise or team camaraderie?
- How can we help our children learn to win and lose and learn from both experiences?