Here we go…out of cross country and soccer season into basketball season. My children have played one sport a season, sometimes two, for years. The transition from one sport to the next is sometimes trying for my children. They become accustom to one sport and when they are at their peak it’s time to go to the next sport.
Many children play the same sport all year long in club sports. I do not want my children to do this. I talked to our pediatrician as well as a few different physical therapists, they all say it is not healthy for children to play the same sport all year long. It is hard on their bodies when they are growing, utilizing the same muscles constantly. It is great for my children to play different sports for a few reasons. One of which is that is better for their bodies. It is also great for making and keeping different friends. Different children enjoy different sports allowing children to make new friends. It is also great to try new sports outside of their comfort zone, for their minds, and to learn new skills.
It seems that in our country there is a new trend to push children from a young age to choose one sport and influence them to excel in one sport. They are put on a club team, travel, practice an excessive amount, and sometimes have personal coaches. The parents hope that their child will be a colligate athlete who receives a scholarship to college to play that sport. I have seen parents push their children from a very young age to believe what they want is to play in college. I have also witnessed friends who by the time they received that scholarship in college were so burnt out on that sport that the joy was gone and all that was left was a loathing for that sport which had become a job instead of a passion.
My daughter has a few athletic abilities and has some potential. We, as parents, have been pressured by coaches and others to get her into club sports or “she will never make it onto the high school teams”. She played club soccer early on but told us she did not like the pressure. We made a decision at that point to not continue down that path d where the pressure was so great and the joy of the game was lacking. Much to the surprise of others before she started into high school she said, “Mom, if I don’t make any teams its ok I will be involved in other clubs and committees.” We decided to let her have a childhood full of fun and opportunities to explore many different sports and that’s just what she did. This year she started high school and she made the JV Soccer team and subbed for the varsity team. She also made the basketball team and will sub for the JV team.
My children love sports, many different sports. That’s how it should be. I don’t want them to be burnt out or to dread practices. If they are not having fun on the field, challenging themselves in the competition, making memories and friends or learning something there is no point in playing. Only a small percentage of people make it to the professional level. It is not likely that my children will play sports as a profession however, I want them to enjoy being healthy, getting exercise, living life as a team player, and balancing their lives. If we don’t teach them a balance between sports, education, family time, friends, and faith how will they learn to balance their lives in the future?
So, here we go into basketball season, a new sport, new opportunities to sit in the stands and support our children, and a time for my children to grow and have fun. That’s the purpose of sports in my family.
What about in your family?