Youth Sports: Are the Kids Really Having Fun?
Children's sports can start out as an enjoyable activity and turn into an overly competitive chore that is not fun for far too many kids.
Pointing to the increasing pressure and competition involved in children's athletics, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends that parents do not push children to specialize in one sport, at least until they reach adolescence.
Overall, any physical activity is better than watching too much television. Organized sports contribute to physical fitness while developing basic motor skills. In addition, it can help your child with learn leadership skills, self confidence, and the importance of teamwork and sportsmanship. It will also teach them the importance of success and failure.
In making its recommendation, the AAP cited research showing that young children who participate in a variety of athletic activities and delay specializing in a particular sport until adolescence tend to:
- Have fewer sports-related injuries
- Be more consistent performers
- Participate in sports for a longer period of time
Last reviewedOctober 2013by Michael Woods, MD
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.