“Get them started when they’re young.”
If you have a kid or know anyone else who has one, you’re sure to have heard this phrase before. It follows the line of logic that the more time a child spends with a particular skill, the better they can be in the long run. And with sports, this can certainly be true. Sports can also provide an outlet for our young ones to focus their energy and make friends while developing discipline that can last a lifetime.
Here is a look at five of the best sports for kids to develop at a young age. Each of these can give your kid a lifelong passion and an excellent way for you to spend time with them as well.
Basketball sits at the top of the list here because you don’t need a lot of equipment and can play it just about anywhere. That makes it a perfect option for young kids across the world. All you really need is a basketball and a hoop. And technically, you won’t always need a hoop as dribbling and other skills can be practiced on any sort of paved or hard surface. Almost every kid loves a bouncing ball, and basketball is a sport that is entirely based around that.
And while you can’t teach a kid how to grow up to be 7 feet tall, you can teach them the more subtle skills of shooting, dribbling, and passing when they are very young. Plus, a hoop is pretty easy to set up somewhere around the house. This will give kids a quick alternate activity to anything involving a screen, which is a great thing in our modern age.
Another great sport for kids to start exploring early is gymnastics. Most kids tend to act like little gymnasts around the house anyway, so why not focus that energy on something a little more structured? Kids will love jumping around, somersaults, and equipment involved with this sport and can learn how to build excellent athletic habits in a safe and structured environment.
There are plenty of gymnastics classes out there specifically geared toward children, and all of the great gymnasts have started the sport when they are very young. Even if your child never has aspirations of going to the Olympics, gymnastics will give them skills that can last a lifetime and teach them about body control and functional fitness. Plus, it’s just plain fun.
Skiing and snowboarding are classified into the same sport here as they both involve being on the snow. And while these snow sports can be more challenging to access due to the equipment required to get started and the fact that you need to have a ski resort nearby, getting kids started early with them will give them a skill they can use for their entire life.
Learning how to ski or snowboard at an older age can be challenging and outright difficult. Kids seem to have a natural affinity for these sports because they aren’t limited by any fear of falling like us adults. A kids ski lesson is a great place to start when just learning as this will provide your young ones with the basics necessary to slide downhill safely. Just remember always to bundle them up, so they don’t get cold out in the snow!
Swimming is a sport that everyone should learn at some point in their lives. And if you get a child started early, they will end up being a little fish in no time. Swimming can be fairly intuitive for some kids and challenging for others. It’s important to pay close attention to a child if you are teaching them how to swim as the dangers involved are obvious.
Swimming lessons are available for kids of all ages, so you really can get them started whenever they are willing or able. A good instructor can give children the necessary skills to stay afloat and swim efficiently and effectively. The great thing about swimming is that it doesn’t always have to be a competitive sport and can simply be a form of fun and leisure.
5. Soccer (Football)
Another ball sport that requires little equipment and can be played just about anywhere is soccer (or football, depending on how you call it). This sport is great because it is arguably the most popular team sport in the world, which means your kids are sure to have a favorite team or player to fuel their passions.
Soccer can be a little difficult for really young kids due to the coordination involved, but this is another reason it’s best for them to develop the sport at a young age. All you really need to do to get them started is to put a soccer ball in front of them and let them do the rest. There are also organized teams and leagues for kids of any age to learn how to participate in team sports.