This is a sponsored post for SheSpeaks and P&G. All opinions on sports for kids are my own. #LetsPowerTheirDreams
This has been a year of firsts for me and my boy. A few months ago, I took him to see his first real game of ice hockey. I’ve always loved to watch a good hockey game, and after our night of cheering on the Hershey Bears, I found out that he does, too! My husband isn’t much of a sports guy, so this gives me lots of hope that I’ll have a hockey buddy to keep me company for years to come.
Another first this year, and one that really made my heart proud, was running our first 5K together to benefit duodenal cancer research in the name of a dear friend who passed away at the age of 26. I’ll admit, I was a little worried that he wouldn’t finish or that he’d end up complaining and riding on my shoulders, but boy was I wrong! He finished that race strong in 48 minutes, and showed me a thing or two about his true spirit and capabilities.
The best part of watching my son get more interested and involved in sports is the bonding time that it provides, but also the knowledge that he’s building his self-esteem right along with his physical health. He was so proud to finish that race alongside his Mommy!
Knowing that his eyes have been opened to the power of sports to make us all feel healthy, strong and proud of ourselves made watching the Olympic Games together just that much more fun this year. This is the first time he’s seen competition on that level, and we had so much fun pulling out the pillows and snacks and just really watching Team USA show us what’s possible. Seeing my little guys eyes light up when he saw the strength and speed displayed was a little bit magical, and so was hearing him say, with no hesitation, “Mom, I’m going to do that!” Because, why not, right?
He’s “as fast as The Flash”, after all. Just like Decathlon Olympian Ashton Eaton.
Choosing Sports for Kids
Choosing a sport for your kiddos to play isn’t easy. You’ve got to be careful not to project too much of your own preferences on them (cough*hockey*cough) while also keeping in mind that you’re going to be investing a lot of time sitting on the sidelines, so it should be something you at least understand and like to watch.
Does your child work better in a team setting, or competing against herself? Some sports, like Track and Field or Swimming are a nice in-between, where you are on a team but can also train individually. There are loads of sports that your child could start up. What about golfing, although it doesn’t seem to be that strenuous a sport it is a good one and it’s sociable. Golfing is becoming increasingly popular, particularly since the invention of the golf rangefinder. You can compare them here for more information about how they work. If golf isn’t you or your kids thing though then that’s fine, there is plenty else to do. As I watch my son grow into his own unique little person, I really think this is the type of sport he might fall into (even though he’s going to give soccer a try this year.)
A few more things to consider when choosing sports for kids:
How much time and money are you willing to invest?
Does your area support your chosen sport? (Here, the answer is no to hockey but yes to lots of soccer.)
What type of methods does your potential coach employ?
What methods of coaching will your child respond to the best?
What does your family schedule look like from season to season, and is one season better than another?
Will you be attending games and practices?
Will your child’s friends be playing with them, and if so, can you swap rides or carpool?
Will you require your child to finish out a season if they decide they don’t want to play?
Is your child big or small for their age? Size can be a help or a hazard, depending on the sport in question.
These are all good questions to ask and discuss as a family before committing to a specific sport. But most of all, get your child involved early in the decision making process. Listen, discuss, and support each child’s with lots of “You can do it!” enthusiasm. In my experience, that’s the best way to foster self-confidence and cement those teamwork skills that are valuable everywhere from the playing field to the boardroom later on in life.
Support Team USA
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