How to Choose the Right Sport for Your Child

One of the questions I get asked often and one of the topics I find myself discussing with parents is the idea of one sport versus multiple sports for kids. This usually leads to a larger discussion about choice. Who knows what’s best for your child or children? The truth is, no one does. You cannot have a real idea of what is best for your child in a certain situation without actually being in the situation. You can have desires, wishes, expectations and more. You can never actually know much about anything until it is happening to you in the moment. Hence, the movement by so many of our great teachers of today that preach “living in the moment.” Right? Personally, I would like to raise children who feel empowered to make the choice they feel is best for them.

Letting your children choose is often the best answer. WAIT!!! WHAT??? I am not suggestion you do not have input. As a matter of fact, you have more input than they will think, and you get to make it seem like they make the choice. They are also not always going to like the choices being presented to them. For example, I may ask my children, “Would you like broccoli or peas for dinner?” They don’t have to like the choices I have made for them; however, they still feel like they get to choose their life. “Are you going to brush your teeth before or after we read the story?” is another example of empowering your child. The idea is, you come up with the options that you are satisfied with and let them choose.

But, what about sports? This has nothing to do with sports. The reason we remember names like Tiger Woods and Michael Phelps is because they are the exception to the rule, not the rule. I recently read a 10-year study done on girls aged 14-17 who play soccer and have ACL injuries which require surgery. I once suffered an AC tear and required surgery, so it is something I am interested in. The study suggested due to the same sport being played over and over, the muscles conditioned a certain way. As the girls would age and go through the latter stages of puberty, the muscles would change as well, thus leaving them open for injury. It makes sense too. Body builders do not have the same routine throughout the year. They change the way they work with muscles; they adjust the weight from heavy to light and back to heavy. The diet is adjusted throughout the year too. Often children who play the same sport constantly work the same muscle groups… Just something to think about.

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