What parents need to know about summer sports


It’s April and summer sports are just around the corner.  Northfield Community Services and the Northfield Family YMCA have lots to offer families, preschoolers, primary students, teens, and adults.   Online registrations for community services programs begin on Friday, 13 April.  Introduce your little squirts to the swimming pool or the ice rink or let them bounce off the walls in a gym full of balls and fun at the Y’s Wiggles and Giggles Open Gym.  Take them outside for a week to learn how to kick up a storm at British Soccer’s Little Kicks Camp or let them enjoy nature, music, or the activity of the day through the many local preschool enrichment programs.  Older children may try out any number of sports—from the traditional swimming, hockey, and baseball, to martial arts, skateboarding, and golf.  Peruse the online brochures to see what fits your interests, budget, and schedule for the coming months.

Is the idea of summer sports new to you?  Maybe your preschooler has enjoyed the fun of the pool and skating and gymnastics this year already.  Are your friends and their five-year-olds three sports ahead of you and looking for another fun experience this summer?  Are you beginning to think that your pee-wee athlete won’t be happy if he doesn’t keep up and try everything before he starts kindergarten?  Fear not; Jim Grove at ActiveForLife.com offers some clarity.  For the younger set, he classifies hockey, soccer, tennis and the like as sports, those that contain a competitive element.  Others, such as swimming, dance, and skating he classifies as physical activities.  These activities are great to introduce at an early age because they help children learn and develop fundamental skills like coordination,  balance, and agility that are needed for competitive and team sports later.  Most children will be ready for team sports by ages six, seven, or eight.  Until then, play and discover the fun of fun.

boy swimming lap in a poolThen again, maybe you are quite passed the elementary years and you and your children are actively engaging the years of games and gear and competition.  Are you having fun yet?  Anne Josephson, in 15 Reasons Competitive Sports Are Great for Kids, encourages you to see competition for what it is—a motivator to play by the rules, to be a team player, to set goals and become the best you can be.  Then, when your best isn’t good enough or it is more than you had ever hoped for, competition helps you to cope with the outcome with grace.  Read her article for more insight and take to heart the good of sports.  Parents, be the best cheer leader your child ever had, and help your child to enjoy their sport while they become the best person that they can be.  There’s more to life than the game but nobody said you can’t have fun in the process.  So, this summer, go out and have some serious fun.

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