Your Child Playing Sports

How Much Fun Should Your Child Have Playing Sports?


Janis Meredith, Guest Writer
Janis Meredith, Guest Writer

By Janis B Meredith

For the most part, coaches and parents of small children agree that youth sports for young ones should be all about fun. 

As the child grows older, however, the lines between whether sports should be fun or work become blurred. Coaches and parents know that the sacrifices and hard work intensify as the athlete gets older.

But where does the fun end and the hard work begin?

When your athletes are little, it’s all fun

Parents of kids in pee-wee soccer and t-ball should not be forcing their kids to play the game because they are already entertaining hopes of college scholarships. When they are little, it is our job to put aside our ambitions and let our kids just have fun.

Let your child decide if he really likes to kick balls or swing bats. Quit trying to make super-stars out of your little-leaguers.

When your kids reach middle school, “work” comes on the scene

When children reach middle school, youth sports should still be mostly fun, with some hard work mixed in. By then, your athlete will understand that practice is not always fun. Coaches are not always nice. Teammates are not always good team players.

But even so, if your kid hates going to practice every day, dreads game days and shows no sign of ambition or motivation, then it’s a pretty good sign he’s not having a whole lot of fun.

Should you make him play anyway?

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Janis B. Meredith writes a sportsparenting blog, She’s been a sports mom for 20 years, and a coach’s wife for 28, and sees life from both sides of the bench. 

Send her a tweet  @jbmthinks

Find her on Google+  Janis Meredith

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