While touring the main room of the Kidz Expo at the Empire State plaza this weekend, it reminded me that this is the time that we need to sign our children up for sports and even look at summer camp options. With two young boys, I have a feeling we will be registering for soccer and possibly karate. The return of more consistent mild temperatures shows that spring is just around the corner. The robins have returned to the area and soon children will be out and about on playgrounds, fields, and beyond.
For those of us living in the Capital Region, it is time to dust off the sports equipment. Then, we need to figure out what activities our children want to do before summer break and sign them up. Does your child prefer baseball, softball, karate, swim lessons, tennis, soccer, or something completely different. There really are so many possibilities these days for our children to try.
I still remember going with my parents to the old Westland Hills Park as a child. We spent many spring days at practice and games. The memories I have of parades, fun with friends, and banquets for trophies at the end of the season are priceless. When I look back at the photos of those days, it still makes me smile.
In addition to the physical fitness benefits from participating in a sport, there are many other items that your child will learn. The activity will also help them to get energy out and reduce some stresses that exist in their life.
For kids that participate in group sports, it allows them to be part of a larger team with a goal of working together. Your child belongs to a group and together they have common interests on and off the field. This time also allows them to learn to encourage their friends and cheer them on. Often, being part of a team gives a child the opportunity to shine in one way or another, even if they are not the best at the sport. Sports help develop teamwork and leadership skills. It does not take long for the kids to see that they have to work together and communicate for success.
No matter what sport you play, you must develop some sort of self discipline. Listening to your Karate teacher, following the instruction of your coach, or taking time our of your day to practice. Kids realize that they must do these items to accomplish their goals and see it makes them feel good. Whether playing baseball, running track, or swimming in a league – kids see after time that winning is not everything. Kids that are part of a sporting ritual see that sometimes you win and sometimes you lose. Understanding the importance of being a good sport whether you win or lose is a major life lesson for children in elementary school. We all know it is not nice to gloat or be a sore loser. Participating in a sport helps children to see how others cope with disappointments, successes, and keep going.
What sports do your children participate in? Please chime in on the comments below and let me know so I can check into them for my kiddos. Always looking for new and exiting options for our family and no doubt others are as well.
Disclosure: Parts of this post were previously used on another project, but new additions have been made to update it.