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What sport should I enrol my child into and should it be competitive or non-competitive?

Hi Parent’s!

Coach Emile here from Little Boomers Basketball with another weekly blog post to help educate and provide useful information that would be relevant for you and your child/children.

As a coach, we get asked frequently “which sport should I enrol my child into?” and the reality is there is no definite answer or silver bullet. The best approach to do when it comes to this is to have your child try DIFFERENT sports both team and individual. Here’s why:

Your child might not like the same sports that you liked as a child:

You need to keep in mind that every child in unique and different. So just because you loved rugby as a child doesn’t necessary mean that if you sign up your child for rugby classes that they are going to excel in that sport. You might in fact realise that your child loves kicking the ball around the house, so that might be an indicator of trialing soccer for example. However if you sign up and expose your child to only one or two different sports, then you are limiting the possibilities for your child’s interests and passion in other sports that they might have.

A single sport may disinterest or “turn-off” your child in the long-term:

As a coach, I have come across many teenagers that after a couple of years of playing a certain sport, no longer want to participant or play that sport anymore, as they have become bored and disinterested. Sometimes the reason for this is as a child, they were only exposed to 1 sport and most of the time it is the sport that the parent had chosen. As a result of all these years of playing a sport that deep down the child didn’t have a passion in, resulted to the child’s decision of discontinuing the sport immediately.

Playing multiple sports DEVELOPS multiple skills:

Having your child enrol in multiple sport programs has a massive advantage at a skill development level. For example lets say that your child is enrolled into a soccer and basketball program. Soccer predominately utilises the lower body and is an excellent sport for developing gross motor and coordination skills of the foot.  However there is minimal hand/arm involvement required which is when basketball can compliment this weakness. Basketball requires a high demand of dribbling and catching which can help improve hand-eye coordination of the upper body. So by particpating in a number of different sports, you are developing many different skills that are important for child development.

After your child has been exposed to a number of different sport programs for a given time, you should have a good indicator towards which sport they would like to pursue for a longer period of time.

Competitive or Non-competitive?

When deciding on a sports program it very important that you take into consideration whether the program is competitive or non-competitive. Competitive usually means that the structure of the activities are designed to have one or multiple winners. Whilst non-competitive focuses more on skills and cooperation, placing less emphasis on competition.

If you feel like your child is very confident and tends to get bored quickly and constantly needs a challenge then a competitive program may be a better solution. Keep in mind that many children do not like losing and can get really upset when and if they lose. So it’s very important that as a parent you teach your child the importance of sportsmanship so that they understand that losing is apart of sport and life. If your child is completely new to a sport and isn’t so confident, then enrolling them to a non-competitive program to start off with will help improve there skills and confidence in preparation for a competitive program.

I hope you enjoyed this week’s blog and as always if you have any questions you can send me an email to – emile@littleboomersbasketball.com.au