Both my children (8 and 10) are active and healthy, but are not currently involved in sports. Many of their friends have been playing a single sport for years already. Is it too late to get them involved? How do I give them the best experience?
– Concerned Parent
Dear Concerned Parent,
It’s never too late to start your children in sports. The resiliency and energy of youth can quickly narrow the gap between a 10 year old that just started, and a 10 year old that has been competing for years. So your concern shouldn’t be about if your child should start an athletic career, but how to effectively begin.
For any child new to athletics, I would recommend at least a year of sports sampling: Trying a few different beginner level programs that allow your child to see what type of athlete they are. Are they more individualistic? Try introductory tennis or swimming. More team oriented? Basketball, volleyball, and soccer all have great beginner programs.
Once they have sampled a few different sports, they will naturally gravitate towards a sport that suits their personality. To help them excel quickly, spending a few one-on-one or group sessions with a private coach can provide skills that would take years of playing to develop. A private coach can also be a great counselor for helping you and your athlete make the right decisions regarding positions, team play, and even dealing with player or coach conflicts.
As your athlete approaches puberty, it’s time to begin making sure they have the stamina and stability to play their sport. Sports performance training should begin sometime before they try out for their high school team. This will provide custom workouts that supplement on-field training by giving your athlete the strength to perform at their position, the stamina to last through the final play of the game, and the stability to keep them injury free.
Above all else, a strong sports foundation in a child’s early years will provide a base for a lifetime of fitness and health. No matter your sport, or at what level your child plays, I encourage beginning a sport today!
– Coach Grant