How do you decide which sports to get your kids involved in?


#1

Several questions for parents:

  1. How do you decide which sports to get your kids involved in?

  2. Is expense a factor?

  3. Is your own personal interest in the sport a factor?

  4. Do you take your child’s sex, physique, and temperament into consideration?

  5. Do you prefer singles sports (golf, tennis, swimming etc.) or team sports (soccer, basketball, baseball, football, etc.) for your children? Why?

  6. How important is the possibility of a college sports scholarship?

  7. How important is the possibility of a professional career in the sport?

  8. If you choose NOT to get your child involved in sports, why or why not?

  9. Would you ever consider getting your child(ren) involved in figure skating? Why or why not?

  10. Finally–and this is my “ulterior motive” for starting this thread–do you know what the sport “synchronized skating” is and would you ever get your kids involved with it? Why or why not?

I’m very desirous of learning about parents, their kids, and their choices to be involved in or avoid sports. I know parents who are constantly on the run (me, me!), and I know parents who absolutely refuse to allow their kids to participate in any sports.

My daughters were figure skaters, and both still skate, although their ice time is limited due to school, work, lack of money! etc. My younger daughter coaches several days/evenings per week and makes very good wages. She loves coaching and wants to give her synchronized skating teams and singles students the same good memories that she has!

Thanks so much for your discussion of kids and sports!


#2

Well, mine are still a bit young, but actually dh and I have talked about sports with them.

Dh is a tae kwon do black belt, 3rd degree. So, the kids will probably be started in tae kwon do. We want to introduce them to sports and encourage them to be active. If they like it, they will certainly be allowed to continue on. If they don’t like it, we will certainly encourage them to pursue a sport that does interest them. If they don’t want to do structured sports, that’s fine too, as long as they remain active somehow.

My dh was forced into doing tae kwon do for a long, long time and he was very bitter about it as a teen towards his dad. (long story). I wasn’t allowed to participate in sports at all because of finances. We are lucky I think in that we have both ends of the spectrum to draw on in helping our children decide.

Basically we are just going to ‘play it by ear’. Sorry, this wasn’t exactly helpful…


#3

Just be very careful that you don’t become one of those parents who are either living out their fantasies through their kids or are hoping that they will become a pro star as part of their “retirement plan”. When parents push their kids too much, the kids will not enjoy playing sports. That is one reason why I did not start enjoying sports until I was older and on my own.

When I have kids, the main things I care about are learning how to swim and basic self-defense, since those are SURVIVAL SKILLS. After that, it’s about letting the kids experiment with the sports they enjoy and are physically can do (as long as it doesn’t require a second mortgage!).


#4

1. How do you decide which sports to get your kids involved in?

Oldest (son) got started in recreational (as opposed to competative) gymnastics because a local gym passed out fliers to his kindergarten class. He continued through 8th grade. We always used to joke that he was so limber he ought to be in it. Our daughters also participated for a while but had other interests. One daughter swims. She does club swimming and just did all four years of high school. Another has tried kickboxing and other such sports. All have played soccer at some time or another.

*2. Is expense a factor? *

It has been at times. Sometimes we’ve struggled to pay for the gymnastics and swimming. Soccer was relatively inexpensive.)

*3. Is your own personal interest in the sport a factor? *

Not especially. But I’ve enjoyed watching every sport they’ve participated in.

4. Do you take your child’s sex, physique, and temperament into consideration?

Very much so. That’s why our kids participate(d) in sports different from each other. I’ve heard some parents express amazement that we didn’t have all our kids in the same sports. But in my opinion those parents were looking out for themselves, not the child.

5. Do you prefer singles sports (golf, tennis, swimming etc.) or team sports (soccer, basketball, baseball, football, etc.) for your children? Why?

I liked both. They all did soccer. I thought it important to do something as a team. I think that’s especially important for boys. It’s one of the ways boys socialize. But I also like individual sports for the personal best struggle. The child has to love the sport. It teaches the value of always striving for improvement and will hopefully be a lifelong way to stay in shape.

6. How important is the possibility of a college sports scholarship?

It would have been nice but none of mine have been good enough so far. When my youngest daughter was in gymnastics there was another mother who was already planning how her three year old daughter would pay for her college this way. I think that was a bit ridiculous. Now if this was a sixteen year old I might have thought differently.

7. How important is the possibility of a professional career in the sport?

I guess it would be okay if the child could make a living at it. In the case of my kids that would mean coaching rather than playing.

8. If you choose NOT to get your child involved in sports, why or why not?

Doesn’t apply.

9. Would you ever consider getting your child(ren) involved in figure skating? Why or why not?

Probably not at this point. I might have when they were younger but it would have been an issue since there is no skating rink in my town so we’d have to drive. It probably would only have worked if all of my children liked the same sport or if enough nearby families were also participating so we could carpool.

10. Finally–and this is my “ulterior motive” for starting this thread–do you know what the sport “synchronized skating” is and would you ever get your kids involved with it? Why or why not?

I don’t really know what it is. I imagine it involves two or more skaters? If my child pushed for it I might have considered it. But I wouldn’t push it on them, except perhaps for a trial period.


#5

As said, look at your kids through the eyes of an outsider.

Evaluate their inherent skills - critically. Eye/Hand coordination? Balance? Reflexes? Speed?

Then listen to them… "I’d like to try… ". As long as it’s not a zillion bucks for the equipment, go for it. If it’s a “try this”, look for used gear.

My daughter (14) has been skating since 6, tryed softball - nah, has been a terror on the soccer field since 8, and is now an “A” team player on Freshman La Cross - being called to sub for vacancies in higher level teams.

My son (12) has been in Little League since 6 & the “T-ball” days. His 3rd season of organized football is gearing up already… and the HS coaches who run both programs are already courting & eyeing him as a 7th grader!

DW & I are very seriously embracing the possibility of the help (read that $$$$) that an athletic scholarship could give. We don’t push - nor live vicariously through our children’s sports - and put academics & grades above all… but a well-subsidized “ride” wouldn’t be scoffed at!

Oh, and don’t be fooled by the name “Organized Youth Sports”… It ain’t all that organized… :thumbsup:


#6

At first, ds played either soccer or lacrosse in the fall and dd’s played softball in the spring. Having 3 kids in 3 different sports each season would have been way too much time away from home and way too much running around for me.

They eventually all ended up in tae kwon do and loved it. They went all the way to black belt together :slight_smile: . It’s not the cheapest sport, but the benefits were:

No team parties (which cost $$)
No coach’s gifts (which cost $$)
No helping in the snack shack (which I dislike)
No travel to other fields (saved on gas)

They all liked it and did well, so it worked out for us. —KCT


#7

#8

Well my wife wouldn’t let me put daughters in hockey, but if we have sons I would. Cost obviously isn’t a factor, each season will be thousands of dollars. College scholarships and professional roster spots are not an issue, with so few even among elite athletes, getting them it should not be a factor.


#9

So many of the “team” sports now take time away from family, Church and study. As long as those three things stay in balance - the rest is up you.


#10

#11

Great thread! I think that it’s important to always make sure one’s child wants to do the sport in mind. My son at first, did not want to play football. My husband played football in high school, and has a totally different personality than my son. At first–my husband was pushy about it, with our son…I told him that he needs to want to play this. My son is quiet…yet very athletic. So, he was a little intimidated with football during the first year…but now, he loves it. So, I think it’s important to make sure your child wants to do the sport, and if not at first…I always believe in asking him to ‘try this for one year, and if you hate it, then you can quit it.’ My son didn’t quit it, and he was glad he stuck it out. Sports can teach children commitment, discipline, physical and mental training…it can be very productive for a child to take up sports.

Now that we’re in Florida, my son is going to continue with football…and also wants to take up golf. Re: your question about college…If my son gets a scholarship for football in college, great…if not, great too.

Re: skating…sure, if my children wanted to take up figure skating, I’d be supportive. I think that is very demanding on their schedules, though, from what I have heard.


#12

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