Ask 10 people what’s the best sport for kids to start playing with and you will probably get 10 different answers, but one fact that isn’t contested is that kids shouldn’t start playing organized sports until at least five years of age. In this article you’ll find tips that may help you make a decision on the best sport for your child.
Prior to age five, most kids simply do not have the cognitive skills to participate effectively in most sports. I used the words ‘most kids’ because there will always be a few parents who will insist that their child is the exception to the rule.
Selecting the right sport
All things being equal the best sport for child is the one in which they already show an interest. Talk to their teachers at school, observe them on the playground, and don’t forget to ask your child which sport they enjoy.
Next best is a sport that one of the parents has played and is knowledgeable about the rules and strategies. The upside to this is that the parent can give their child a head-start on the other kids, the downside is that parents have a tendency to go overboard and ruin the fun when they start teaching their child how to play a game they love.
You’ll also want to take your child’s natural abilities into account when selecting a sport. Is your child athletic, tall, large, fast, clumsy, unorthodox, timid, tough, and aggressive, or has any one of hundreds of attributes that might make a particular sport a better fit for them than another one.
Here’s a tip that might make a big difference in your child’s overall sports career
Take a look at the age requirements and start dates for different sports, if you can find a sport your child likes and the start date and age requirements will allow your child to be one of the older kids, it can make a huge difference in their success. At ages 5-8 a 10 month difference in age equals a huge difference in cognitive ability. The older kids almost always standout at tryouts, earn more attention from the coaches, and usually get more playing time.
Time constraints are something most parents tend to forget about when selecting a sport for their child. The more technique mastery required to be successful at a sport, the more practice time that will be required, and the more likely the child will need to play the sport year round.
More athletic oriented sports while still requiring practice time to be successful are much easier for a child to pick up and experience early success playing. Almost any child who is willing to hustle and compete hard will do just fine in the early years, though things change quickly as they get older.
Whatever sport you decide on remember to let your child try as many sports as they want, you never know what they have a real knack for. Also don’t forget the most important thing, sports are suppose to be fun; after all they really are just athletic games.
Oh yea, the first sport I would recommend for any child would be soccer, I believe not having to use their hands and not being isolated (unless you’re the goalie) lets kids have the most fun with the least amount of stress.