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Tuesday, 7 June 2011

Organized Too Early?

June 7, 2011
Our most important task as parents is raising children who will be decent, responsible, and caring people devoted to making this world a more compassionate place.
-Neil Kurshan
"Youth sports organizations are reaching deeper into the preschool years, urging parents to sign kids up for soccer or rugby as early as age 3."  This alarming claim was made by Sue Shellenbarger in her Wall Street Journal column (June 3, 2011) that was brought to our attention by Eric Karolak.  Shellenbarger shared guidelines from experts on involving kids in organized sports...

  • Avoid competition, which can be stressful for kids before the age of 7 or 8.  Keep the focus on fun.
  • Don’t make a child specialize in one sport at an early age.  Sports researchers say young players have more fun and develop better as athletes if they are encouraged to play many sports.  Well-rounded kids are also far less likely to lose interest and burn out when they reach their teens.
  • Take at least one or two seasons off each year, so kids can rest their bodies.
  • Don’t allow yourself to feel pressured by other parents who enroll their kids in lots of organized programs. 
  • From Exchange Everyday