Most of the world’s top sports stars all started playing their respective sports from a really young age. They began developing their game from a young age, and it seems to be all they know. Is starting to play sports at such a young age ideal though?
Children develop at different rates, both emotionally and physically so it’s hard to say exactly when they should begin. Some argue that kids should start as young as possible, and videos of a four-year-old Tiger Woods playing golf seem to prove that point. He developed into one of the world’s best golfers, earning millions of dollars in the process.
However, Woods has had a long history of injuries which may or may not be attributed to playing so much at a young age. If you were to go to an elementary school, you’d notice the boys and girls are ranging in heights, sizes, and emotional intelligence. There is no real ideal age at which children should begin playing as they develop differently anyway.
If your child is showing enthusiasm for a sport, the best thing to do is to encourage them. Let your children try as many activities as possible to allow them the chance to find a sport they are passionate about.
KidsHealth believes that children are ready to play in an organized team sport by the time they are six or seven years old. At that stage, they are understood to be ready for the physical and emotional side of competition. Kids are resilient, but some parents worry their child might struggle to come to terms with losing.
Learning to lose in sport is a good life lesson for young children, as they learn to get back on the horse and never give up. By the time they are emotionally ready for competition, they are most likely competing against their friends at recess anyway. Encouraging your child to be a part of a sports team at a young age will also help them to develop social skills which can prove useful later in life.
You’re never too old
On the flip side, there is no age limit for trying new things, and the same goes for sports too. Sure if you want to become the best in the world then getting into a sport in your 30s isn’t the route to success, but that doesn’t mean you can’t try new things. There is no age limit to playing sports, and as long as you feel fit and healthy enough then give anything a go, regardless of your experience. You can keep things casual and do it for fitness, to give yourself something to focus on, or a provide a bit of competition later in life.
The younger you can get children involved in sports the better as far as many people are concerned, but it is important not to rush things. If your child feels ready to compete then they probably are, and if you’re itching for some competition too then go for it!