Elementary Schoolers
Bullies & Cyber Bullying
Behavior Problems
Classroom-Student Behavior
Extracurricular Activities
Internet & Technology
Kids Health & Safety
Parenting Styles & Skills
Peer Pressure
Positive Discipline
Sibling Rivalry
Sleepovers & Bedtime

Choosing the Right Sport

As a parent, you might feel nervous or anxious about allowing your child to try out a new sport or activity. That's completely normal, but it's also important to encourage your child to try new things and engage in extracurricular activities. If your child begins to show a particular interest in a sport, you may want to consider letting him try it out. And, it's perfectly ok to talk to the coach of the team or your child's doctor about the specific sport to make sure you're comfortable with what to expect.

Choosing an After School Sport Together

If your child doesn't have a particular sport in mind, you can choose one together. When deciding on a sport, consider your child's unique temperament and traits; don't just dive into what the neighbor's kid is playing. Your child should chose a sport that makes him feel most comfortable; whether it is a team sport like basketball or baseball, or an individual activity like gymnastics or karate. Before you sign up for a season of group or individual sports consider these factors:

  • Time management. If your child wants to sign up for a sport, consider how much time he will have left to spend on homework or with family and friends. Before choosing a specific sport, get a schedule of practices and games and then plan out what a typical week would look like.
  • Family plans. If your family likes to travel a lot or spend weekends away from home, consider how sports will impact this. Many team sports games are played on weekends, so maybe an individual sport would be better. For example, gymnastics practices mostly on weekdays and may have an occasional competition on the weekends, which might be a better fit for your family.
  • Down time. No matter what activity your child chooses, make sure he will have some time away from school and sports. Rest will give your child the chance to relax and build up his energy to engage in his most-beloved activities.
  • Involvement. How involved do you want to be in your child's chosen activity? For example, are you willing to be a coach or volunteer? Sports leagues usually encourage parents to become actively involved.
  • Transportation. If you or your spouse works late hours or you have other kids, how will your child get to his practices and/or games?

Pay attention to your child's own skill set and mentality before you sign him up for a sport. You never want to force your child to engage in an activity that he'll end up hating. Also, it's always a good idea to get a physical exam before your child begins any sport or activity.