Team Sports For Kids

Tee Ball and Onwards

Putting your kids in team sports is almost always a good idea. It will teach them how to work together with other kids.  It will get them outside and running around at least a few times a week (which is particularly helpful if you live in an apartment).  They’ll learn to respect adults who are not their parents or teachers.  Knowing that signing your kids up for tee ball or little league is a good thing is easy.  Knowing how to do it and how to help your child do well at it can often be confusing.  Here are some tips to help you out.

Here’s my youngest playing flag football.  Our kids love team sports.
1. Even if your son or daughter is just a toddler, ask your local elementary schools what kind of organized sports are available in your area.  You can use the Internet too but asking at the school gives you the opportunity to ask for other parents’ and professional opinions on which teams and coaches are best and would be good fits for your kids.

2. Once you have chosen a team for your kids to join, ask the coaches to give you a list of supplies that you will need to buy.  It’s also a good idea to ask the coach and the other parents for the team which baseball equipment retailer in town they like the best.  This way you won’t have to run all over the place trying to find one specific type of waffle ball or glove.

3. Practice with your kids at home.  If your daughter’s coach has to keep re-teaching your daughter how to throw a curve ball, offer to work with her on it in the backyard.  If your son has a hard time remembering to close his hand over the ball when he catches it, work on that as well. Spend a little bit of time each day working on skills so that they’ll be ready for their next practices.

4. Have fun!  In addition to working on skills with your kids at home, use this time to remind them that sports are supposed to be fun.  Come up with your own silly rules for backyard and pickup games.  If you take it too seriously and push your kids too hard, they will start to view the sport the same way they view homework or chores.  This is the opposite of what you want to have happen.

5. Go to every game and practice that you are able to go to.  If you can’t make it, enlist another friend or family member to take your place.  Once your child gets a little older and more competitive you can make an event out of it!  Grab you gameday rolling cooler, gather the whole family, and start your own cheering section!

Whenever possible, remind yourself that the goal is to have fun and learn skills.  The win-loss ratio is just for statistics.  It doesn’t have any bearing on how much heart or enthusiasm your kids have for the game.

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