Springtime is here and that means one thing – baseball is in full swing. Two and three year olds are trying out their first little sluggers classes. Four and five year olds are breaking in their new gloves, chasing grounders and hitting off a tee. Older kids are making new friends, catching pop flies and learning to pitch in Little League. Everybody seems to be having a ball. Well, maybe not everybody. What happens if your kid isn’t into sports? Maybe your little one has no interest in sports, or just isn’t athletically gifted. What should you do?
Playing team sports is an important milestone in many children’s lives. Team sports teach discipline, appropriate behavior in winning and losing, the importance of physical exercise, self-confidence and more. Additionally, parents play an important role in the learning curve because kids take cues from their parents on what’s appropriate behavior and what’s not.
I was sitting on the first row of wooden bleachers in the small elementary school gym. It was 9 o’clock on a Saturday morning and my fifth-grade daughter, Gabriela (my oldest), was standing on the volleyball court about to play the first game of the season with her school team. It was her first volleyball game ever and the first competitive athletic event of her life.
I can’t imagine that any parent would discourage their young child from following their dreams, no matter how lofty. However, as any parent of an elite athlete or Olympian will likely tell you, there’s a high price to pay - and not just financial - for this pursuit. A price many say is worth every penny and time spent, but one which both parent and child need to go into with their eyes wide open.
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