As a parent, seeing your child take an interest in sports can get you excited about the passion they have for the game. However, not every kid is ready to begin competing at a young age. Before you visit a sporting goods store to buy the equipment they need, it’s best to know whether they’re ready for it first.
How to Know It’s the Right Time for Your Kid to Play Sports
There’s no hard and fast rule on when a kid can begin playing sports, especially if they enjoy being active. However, that doesn’t mean they can compete right away. Even if it’s a junior league—they have to be ready emotionally, mentally, and physically to participate.
Most children aged six to seven can handle organized play since they already possess the fundamental motor skills. Before this age, your toddler doesn’t have the attention span to understand rules about the game itself. Moreover, they still lack hand-and-eye coordination, making them unable to throw or catch with ease. They’re more likely to have fun than focus on the game, but once they turn six years old, they can grasp basic rules, listen to their coaches, and play with teammates. By the time they’re eight or older, they can enroll in competitive leagues once they understand the concepts of winning and losing.
What You Can Do to Help
Keep in mind that children grow at different paces, and your preschooler may already be showing a keen interest in a particular sport. Below are a few things you can do to help them.
Wait Until They’re Ready: Ask yourself if your child possesses the necessary skills—mentally and physically—to play sports before taking them to a sporting goods store. Watch them during practices to see if they enjoyed playing with others and understood instructions.
Find the Right Program: Even if your kid is passionate about sports, it doesn’t necessarily translate to mastering skills. Look for a program where your child can master the fundamentals before playing to compete.
Encourage, But Don’t Push: Praise your child when they do well. However, refrain from setting goals for them or limiting them to one sport. Instead, allow them to try several, learn new motor skills, and experiment with different techniques when playing.
Understand Why They Play: Make it a point to understand your child’s motivation for playing sports. Is it to have fun or to please you? Let them know that you support them and remind them that winning isn’t everything.
Make Safety a Priority: Whatever sport they choose, it’s essential to keep them protected at all times. Invest in the right gear from a reliable sporting goods store.
If you think your child is ready to play, invest in quality equipment and gear to put their safety first. Head over to Siefert’s Sports Center, a trusted sporting goods store in Cincinnati, OH. Since 1979, they’ve offered a wide selection of sports equipment and custom team uniforms throughout the Tri-State area. Learn more about their full list of services online or call (513) 662-1520 today.