I recently noticed that a lot of kids started specializing in a sport much earlier than just ten years ago. With clubs, mobile teams and all kinds of youth tournaments running two, three or four seasons for a single sport, young athletes can play competitively throughout the year. But should they? A kid who grows up playing soccer every season since the age of six should have some insane skills in the game by the time college rookies arrive, but what are the sacrifices?
The worst possibilities are injuries and simply boredom. Depending on the sport, playing all year round can lead to repetitive injuries, which are exacerbated by years and years of play, so by the time athletes reach a very competitive age, they have poor shoulders. , an injured knee or are relatively indifferent to sports. That they have been playing for so long. As someone who grew up encouraged, if not forced, to try a lot of different sports I would say in the long run I’m happier with the experiences. I think every parent should actively encourage their kids to participate in as many sports as possible, even (if not even) in high school. Here’s why:
Excitation. There is something about spending just one season per sport that allows kids to build real excitement for the year ahead. I started kayaking in high school, and I remember looking forward to spring with great anticipation of an exciting season of sports that I had so missed for about 9 months. I continued to row in college and found, as I spent month after month training and competing, that the break that kept me looking forward to next season was one of the things that I missed the most. Spending time away from sports can be both physically and mentally healthy, allowing you to let go of your frustration during a bad season and look forward to a new start, as well as enjoying the victories you have achieved, without return to the battlefield. . I say, keep the individual sportsmanship for college.
The “never know” factor. You never know if your child has any paranormal talent waiting to be incorporated into certain sports that you have never tried before. Again, with the rowing analogy, I will say that you were surprised how many people I knew had tried rowing (not the most popular sport) after injuries had occurred. excluded what they had been playing for years, and were surprisingly good. Many injured athletes who would otherwise warm the injured seat are drawn to rowing because of its low impact (or lack of it). Some of them thank their lucky stars for their injury in the first place because they are discovering an incredible, sometimes Olympic, capacity for a sport they hadn’t thought of before. As a fan of unusual sports, I would say try a new sport! Encourage your kids to do this because they can be amazingly fun and you might discover a hidden talent.
The injury is serious. It’s already over, but it’s one of the saddest things for me when an athlete, who was recruited to play in college, spends his first season on the bench because he’s struggling with injuries from too much of the same sport in high school and before. Change it, and when you can, listen to your body protesting that it’s had enough.
Age skills. I was encouraged (well, in fact, forced against my will) to take tennis and ski lessons as a kid (which I hated), as well as to play softball (which I hated too) and football (which I loved). And now, as an adult, I am so very grateful. Now that I have passed the shock of the scary lessons, I can go out and play a fun game of tennis with my friends. And I really appreciate it now. Skiing lessons inspired me to teach myself snowboarding, a sport I love now. And softball … well, it was pointless, but at least I know the drills if I’m drawn to a little game or a business. Football was fun, but I was really bad, and still am, so I’m glad I got to play something else. I would like my parents to make me play more sports, like basketball for example. People naturally assume that I can play basketball because I’m tall, so I got into a game at school and realized for the first time that I knew absolutely nothing about the sport. I couldn’t shoot or dribble well, I had three fouls against me (what, can’t I just stand there or do that? Who made these rules?), And it went on for ten minutes before I was asked to quit the game so that they can continue playing. I wish I had at least had an idea of what to do.
Mysterious. You may have mentioned it before, but I love off-piste sports. These are the ones that I liked the most. In high school I ran across the country and Nordic ski, froze my ass and had my whole life. In college, I played a multicultural sport called Inertop Water Polo (find and play) and still enjoyed every minute of it.
Sport should be fun. Your child might not grow to be a major in baseball, but a lifelong appreciation of the sport leads to a healthy lifestyle and a mentally stronger adult. So I say encourage (if not force … well) your child to play multiple sports. In the end, they will thank you.