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Living: When Is The Best Time To Get Your Child Into Sports?

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I see a lot of discussions these days about the best time to get your child into sports. There’s a lot of confusion out there. While some see it as a necessity to introduce them to competition as early as possible, others feel that they’re pushing their kids too far. Let’s explore this topic a little further.

In most cases of successful sportsmen and women, they get involved in their chosen sport at a very young age. That’s just the way it is. If you’re a parent, and you’re wondering whether to push your child in any particular direction, don’t worry so much!

The best thing you can do at this point is to encourage them to try different things.

Give them an incentive to get started.

For example, the Uniform Store designs football jerseys. Why not buy them a jersey and start playing some football with them or enter them into a pee-wee team? The same could be said for many different sports. You could buy them a baseball bat and glove and go out into the backyard. Buy them a soccer ball and create a makeshift goal. Let them figure out their own path.

Once they’ve found something they like the idea of, make sure you’re behind them all the way. Do what’s necessary to give them every opportunity to succeed, but don’t go too far with it. This is where the majority of parents stumble. They feel that in order to get the best out of their child’s sporting abilities, they need to push them to be the best.

They’ll stand on the sidelines and shout and rant about every single play the child makes.

Depending on their mentality, this will go one of two ways. The first is the rarest example, but it can actually make them work harder in fear of failure and letting their parents down. In any case, this isn’t a healthy way to act.

The second mentality is that they will panic and play even worse, leading to arguments and quitting altogether.

If you find yourself being an overly pushy parent, recognize the behavior and put a stop to it. Instead, you want to be the parent that encourages your child to have fun. Don’t be afraid to point out errors in their play from time-to-time, but don’t go overboard. It’s important that they learn, but that’s what the coaches are for. Your job is to encourage them and help them get the most out of the experience. This is the best way to keep them engaged for longer.

Finally, while age is a determining factor in many cases, you shouldn’t deny your older children the opportunity to learn. There are a handful of sports stars who didn’t start playing professional until much later in their lives. There’s always the possibility that they’ll develop their skills to the same high levels if you give them the opportunity.

In any case, it doesn’t really matter. If you’re going into this with high hopes of sporting greatness for your child, you’re going about it the wrong way. A very small percentage of people achieve it! Instead, focus on their enjoyment.

That’s all that matters.

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Robert D. Cobb
Founder, Publisher and CEO of INSCMagazine. Works have appeared and featured in places such as Forbes, Huffington Post, ESPN and NBC Sports to name a few. Follow me on Twitter at @RobCobb_INSC, email me at robert.cobb@theinscribermag.com