Backyard Sports Timeout – Where our coaches field parents’ questions about Team Sports and offer ways to make it the Fun, Enriching Experience it’s supposed to be
Q: What are the benefits of year-long sports teams? Do you think that kids get tired or burned out from playing and practicing so much?
A: Every kid is different. The idea of a year-long sports team wasn’t invented by some eight-year- old kid who said, “Oh, in order for me to really enjoy baseball, I have to play it September through June.” Year-round sports are a product of adult organized leagues. There are some kids out there who have the desire, who want to make that kind of commitment, and that’s great. Having said that, in my experience, the majority of kids aren’t willing or really don’t have the level of passion to make that kind of commitment just yet.
What many parents are doing is responding to expectations, not from their kids, but from outside organizations. I would say to parents, you are the best judge of your child.
Typically, summer time is vacation time or relaxation time, but some kids may want to keep their skill level primed. Why we love summer so much is because it’s that time of the year when the kids aren’t in a structured box, otherwise known as a classroom, doing the bidding of the curriculum or teacher or fulfilling some other expectation. Summer is a time, like recess, when they get to go out and explore and do things that they really want to do with no expectation, and where they get to express their joy.
For some kids, that’s going to be playing baseball 24-hours a day. For others, it might not be. For some it might just be going out and running under the sprinklers. Why not give kids that opportunity to be where they want to be, to let them be kids, without putting them back on the sports agenda. Don’t they get enough of that during the school year?
I understand a lot of parents need their kids in camps because parents are working full time. A sports skills camp will certainly benefit athletes, but kids can also experiment with trying new sports or new activities, it doesn’t have to be football 24/7 unless you know that’s the right choice for your child.
The Big Takeaway: Ask your coach at the end of the season for a list of your warm-up and/or strengthening workouts so your child can continue this over the summer. I will never discourage kids from exercising and staying in shape. Summer doesn’t mean becoming a couch potato, but not every child will be the right fit for a year-round team or league. And that’s OK!
Backyard Sports provides weekend and after school sports instruction and game play for boys and girls ages 4-16 years old. Our programs are designed for EVERY child who desires a positive and healthy sports experience. #CompetitiveSportsDoneRight