In modern, developed countries kids of all ages are involved in organized athletic pastimes. It’s been proven that sports can build confidence and give a child the foundation of a healthy social life. However, there are limits to these facts and knowing the limits is very important to each individual. Sports are not a one-size-fits-all proposition, and for that reason, there are plenty to choose from.
Some may argue that being on the debate team could be considered a sport, but for this article, let’s just talk about contact and field sports. Supplying a crane service to do the heavy lifting doesn’t eliminate wrestling as one of the sports kids are drawn to, but it is not even in the top 10 – for what seems obvious to this writer. So, what are the 3 most popular sports for kids?Basketball
Why basketball? In basketball, early skills are taught without the drive to be competitive. Competition is normally what comes to mind when we think of team sports., but initial introductions to basketball are not driven by competition. This appeals to the younger mind which doesn’t feel the need to push to State championships or squash their opponents. They just want to have fun. It’s just fun and teaches dexterity and team interaction. Competition comes later as a kid matures and shows more than just an interest in playing for fun with his or her friends. It’s also a sport that attracts both girls and boys. According to ESPN, in the US over 450,000 young girls and 550,000 boys sign up to play basketball every year.
“America’s favorite pastime” comes in as the 2nd most popular team sport with youths. Maybe children are influenced by their parents and grandparents watching and sharing their enthusiasm of their favorite teams during the summer months when school is in recess. Since kids can start early with Tee-ball, little ones get out there as young as five years of age. More girls go on to play softball while boys play traditional baseball. Summer leagues are a great way to keep kids active when school is out.
It may start popular, but by the age of 13, only the most devoted kids continue to participate in this rough game. Football carries a lot of ego with it. The fuss that the broadcast stations and the high-priced sponsors can influence a child’s decision to play. Kids love the team spirit and fan base they garner as their classmates cheer them on. Parents have concerns about safety, but with modern equipment, injuries have been reduced and the sport is considered safe.
This has caught on more in the past 20 years in the US, but has been popular in countries around the globe since the early part of the past century. Younger kids find soccer an easy sport to play – and that makes it fun and exciting. Team camaraderie is developed almost immediately. Like all competitive sports, the further along one gets the more strategy comes into play and skills are honed. Both girls and boys are attracted to soccer and have plenty of inspiration from seasoned teams from all over the world.
Not all children are into sports. It’s important to honor and respect the child’s choice to participate in youth sports. Many kids prefer the sidelines and it’s their way of learning more about who they are. Let them discover on their own if sports are a right fit for them.
Do your kids play sports? Leave a comment below and join the conversation.Tags: baseball, basketball, contact sports, Little League, soccer