A sportsparent asks: “What is the best first sport for kids?”
To answer the question, I am going to do something my dad did to me. Answer a question with a few questions.
(I hated it when he did that and my kids hate it when I do it to them!)
My questions are:
Question 1: What sport interests your child?
Give your child a few choices and let him decide. Take her to watch a soccer game or a basketball game or a t-ball game or a ballet class or gymnastics class. Talk with her and ask if she would like to try it for one season. Of course, if she doesn’t like it, let her try something else the next season.
Question 2: What are his friends doing?
Putting your child in a sport with his friends has several advantages: you can carpool to practices with mom-friends, your child has friends on the team which will help him feel more at ease, and you already have friends to socialize with!
Question 3: How much money do you want to spend?
If the budget is tight, stick with sports that require less equipment: flag football, soccer, t-ball, gymnastics, basketball and stay away from sports with lots of equipment like hockey and tackle football.
Another way to save money is to look for sports programs with the city recreation leagues or YMCA. And if their choices are limited, well then, that will help make your decision easier.
All of my questions aside, I cannot tell you which sport is best for your child to start with. Of course, the popular choices are soccer, t-ball, hockey, gymnastics, or ballet. If you’re thinking about tackle football, I’d do a little more investigating into whether you really want your little guys tackling at such a young age; there’s a lot of for/against arguments. Flag football is a great alternative for youngsters without the “violence” of tackle football.
And honestly, the answer to the question, “what is the best start for a kid” has to do more with the sports environment they are in and the fun they are having and the lessons they are learning than with what sport they are playing.
So answer these three questions, pick a sport, and go have fun!
If you have a question you’d like answered, leave a comment below or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.