There comes a time for every child in school when they wonder which sport should they participate in, and they will probably bring you this question. Playing a sport is an integral part of growing up; it’s not only healthy and helps develop coordination and mental balance, but it also teaches valuable life lessons.
Venturing into the world of sports, we talked to experts and compiled a list of useful tips for you when considering which sport you should recommend to your child.
“Choosing a sport for your kid can be overwhelming. With so many different options in this day and age, how do you know if soccer or baseball is the best fit for your child? I would ask the parents to reflect on their reasoning for choosing a specific sport. What are the short and long-term goals of your child for this sport? If the answer is to go pro, your child may be setting themselves up for disappointment.
“A better question is to ask your child what they enjoy most about a sport. That is a great way to gauge the interest level for this sport. I would also recommend having discussions with different coaches or asking sports parents how they choose a sport for their kids.”
David Welch, Rugged Sports Blog
“Your child chooses the best sport for your child. Of course, parents can lead kids to the field, rink, or water, so to speak; however, children will ultimately click or connect with the sport, and your desire for them to be a specific athlete won't override their innate ability, interest, or joy in the sport they choose. It is essential to create a well-rounded athlete at the beginning who can enjoy all sports, which are life skills: skiing, swimming, riding, biking, sailing, skating.
“Children's competence and fun will drive their confidence and their continuance in sports. As kids age, they will weed out what they like best, and perform best in whether that be team sports (football, soccer, lacrosse) one on one sports (fencing, boxing, martial arts, chess, and solo sports, such as gymnastics, figure skating, running.
“Parents can set kids up to succeed by playing sports with their kids, going to pro, college, and local sporting events that inspire, and trying new sports together. It is also vital to let kids retire or pause a sport when they no longer are passionate about the game; then children can find the next best game that truly suits them.”
Karen Aronian, Ed.D. Parenting & Education Expert Aronian Education Design LLC
“Choosing the best sport for your child should be based on their interests. He should be the one to decide which sports to participate in. If you persist in getting what you want, the child will not enjoy it, turning it into a burden rather than a fun activity. When a child desires something but his parents believe it is not beneficial for him, allow him to try out the sport first and see if it is actually what he wants. Furthermore, if he goes through it on his own, he will not blame you for not being able to try it and will not keep it from you in the long run.”
“The best sport to choose for your kid is to let them pick a team sport they like the best. There are also some good individual sports out there, but team sports have the advantage of getting kids together to move towards a common goal.
“In addition to getting good exercise, team sports teach kids the importance of teamwork, how to gracefully handle failures, and how to be a good winner. By participating in team sports, kids will also begin to learn they can't do everything by themselves and they sometimes need to rely on their teammates.
“It's greatly beneficial to get kids involved in the decision-making process of what sport they'll be playing. By letting kids pick their team sport, they tend to like that sport better. And the more they like the sport, the more likely they are to stick with it and the more likely they are to spend time practicing that skill. Kids will also develop lasting friendships from participating in sports, some that can even last a lifetime.
“When it comes time to find a job later in life, kids who participated in team sports will have a working knowledge of what it means to be a team player. And when it comes to hiring employees, all companies love to hire team players. One of the best ways to build that foundation for success is by participating in team sports as a kid.”
Steve Nelson is an avid sports fan, baseball player and the owner of Baseball Training World.
“I have coached basketball, football, soccer, and golf. As you can probably guess, I am most passionate about golf! There are so many reasons to get your kid playing golf. First, it is a great way for them to build a social network. Playing in golf tournaments can take up to 5 hours and during that time, they get to interact and talk to other children they may not meet otherwise.
“Second, as they get older and more competitive, they can play in golf tournaments across the country and across the world. Golf can also lead to an opportunity to compete at the collegiate (college) level. Finally, it is a sport that they can enjoy for their entire life. You can play golf from the age of 5 to 105. What other sport offers that? A game you can enjoy for decades and they can share it with their children as well.”
Ray Golfidential, Golf Editor at Golfidential.com
“It’s important when choosing a sport for your child that you find one that has a focus on life skills as well as sport skills. A good Martial Arts school also teaches self-defense. That’s a huge benefit for each child. Few activities have the added benefits of confidence, respect and focus as the Martial Arts.”
“Archery has been around for thousands of years and boasts a mix of practicality and recreational fun. From compound bows to longbows and crossbows, there is a wide range of styles that kids can choose from. The same can be said for competitive archery. These competitions can take many forms, ranging from target shooting to ski archery. Modern archery competitions have even been part of the Olympics for more than a century!
“If your child dreams of being an Olympic champion someday, this may be the perfect sport for them. Beyond the competition and fun, archery has also been known to offer numerous health benefits. Learning archery can improve focus, build upper body strength, and enhance hand-eye coordination. By picking up a bow, your kid isn’t only learning a fun, new skill; they’re also developing mental and physical strength.
“When you introduce your child to archery and they have chosen what type of bow they like best, allow them to customize their bow so it can be something they’re truly proud to have. A set of custom strings in their favorite colors will give their bow a personal touch that stands out from the rest.”
Brad Patsy, Owner of 60X Custom Strings