Have you succumbed to the pressure of year-round sports for your kids yet? We don’t mean doing baseball in the spring and football in the fall, we mean doing one sport all year, every month. It sounds like a good thing to do—find a sport that your child has a natural inclination for and help them reach their potential by concentrating on it solely. But that approach has more drawbacks than positives.
In fact, our pediatrician told us that doing one sport year round can hurt growing bodies. The experts back him up. Children’s bodies can’t handle the repetitive motion that playing one sport all year brings.
Here are 5 reasons you need to say no to year-round sports for your kids.
1. It’s tough on growing bodies.
Children’s bodies are not miniatures of adult bodies. Their bodies are growing at a rapid rate. To grow properly, their body needs rest from repetitive motion.
2. It can build unrealistic expectations.
It’s only natural for kids and parents to think that great rewards await if they give their all to a sport. But the numbers say otherwise.
3. It can lead to burn out.
Not many kids are going to be happy about getting up early every weekend to drive two hours to a tournament. Kids aren’t wired to focus on one thing and one thing only.
4. Kids miss out.
The best athletes often diversified as children. So give your child the opportunity to explore other sports and activities without locking him into just one.
5. Parents get too invested.
Most children are not going to get sports scholarships to college or play professionally, but many parents have this as a goal when their children play sports. Remember that a parent’s job is to encourage and cheer on their children, not to manage their activities as if they were a sports agent.