Kids and Sports - the Dos and Don'ts

Average: 3.7 (6 votes)

Ever since my child could talk, he’s had sports on his mind.

How else do you explain the fact his first word (and the next 1,000 as well) was “ball?”

As a doting parent, I had no choice but to accommodate his wishes. So I got him a basketball. And then a football. And then a baseball. And then a golf ball. And then a tennis ball. And then…

You get the picture.

As a result, I suspect we’ll still be finding balls of all sorts hidden under couches and behind chest of drawers for the next 16 years.

But now that I have a couple of years under my belt of raising an eight-sport star, I’ve learned a few things that if I had another child I’d do again…and some other things that I most certainly wouldn’t.

For example, when introducing your child to sports…

Do assess technical fouls on your child for holding onto the wall-mounted basketball rim after a slam dunk. If you don’t, they’ll eventually pull the hoop and the anchors right out of the drywall. Then you’ll have a crying baby and a couple holes in the wall to deal with.

Don’t think you’re going to find a left-handed golf club for your toddler. They don’t exist. Consider it your child’s first hard-knock life lesson - it’s a right-handed world, and we left handers are just trying to fit in. An excellent substitute is a toddler’s hockey stick.

 Do introduce the idea of “tackle hugs.” Not every child is willing to give you a much-needed hug on demand. But every toddler loves the idea of getting up a full head of steam and crashing into their parents arms ala an NFL linebacker.

Don’t take your infant to a major sporting event. You won’t be able to enjoy it because all of your attention will be on them, and they won’t be able to deal with the noise that goes along with 30,000 screaming fans. Instead, take them to a high school game or an event that won’t be heavily attended. They’ll have the freedom to move around, and you won’t be constantly asking your neighbor, “What just happened?”

Do create a baseball diamond in your living room. What’s more enjoyable than watching your child run around the bases and give you a high-five as they head for home plate? Combine that with the fact it lets them burn off some energy on days when the weather keeps you inside, and it’s a win-win situation.

Don’t let your child chase the family pet around the house with a golf club, cocked and ready to deliver a punishing blow (your pet will thank you).

Do take your child…bowling! If you’re looking for something novel, most bowling alleys have child bowling ramps and bumpers to use. Your child will have the time of their life watching the ball make its way down the aisle and into the pins.

And finally, don’t miss out on the opportunity to share sports with your child at a very early age. Sports is a great way to burn energy, develop hand-eye coordination, learn about sharing with friends, and ultimately create some unforgettable images and memories.

Add new comment

Teaching Your Kids To Hit A Baseball

Average: 4.1 (14 votes)

After many years coaching every sport the city rec department could possibly imagine, I discovered that most of my younger colleagues were facing familiar issues when it came to teaching their kids how to hit a baseball. Here is an easy way to have fun and turn them into sluggers too!

Teaching Your Kids to Catch a Baseball

Average: 3.8 (10 votes)

girl baseball catchingSome kids just have a natural physical ability to play sports, specifically baseball or softball. The rest of us had to learn and practice, practice, practice. Personally I had the reflexes of a cat and was an aggressive and mean child growing up…perfect for playing Little League baseball.  As a follow up to my previous article on how to teach your kids to hit a baseball, here are some helpful tips for how to help them learn to catch a baseball…

School's Out - What To Do Now?

No votes yet

School’s out, for summer! School’s out forever! Well, school might not actually be out forever as the 1970s Alice Cooper rock classic declared, but if you’ve grown to accustomed to your free time during the last academic year, it might feel that way during the summer months. So what’s a parent to do now that you have to once again entertain, inspire and occupy the eager minds of a child who’s on summer vacation? How can you once again fill 24 hours and seven days a week with your child?

Toddler Travel

Average: 4.8 (6 votes)

Travel alert! One of the perks of having a child under the age of two is they can fly free of charge on domestic flights. The drawback, of course, is you’re about to be stuck on a plane with a child under the age of two, surrounded by people who were pleading to a higher power as you sauntered down the aisle that you weren’t going to be seated close to them. Much to their chagrin there you are, child in tow. Your job is to keep your child entertained in the 2x2 space commonly referred to as your lap. That’s a daunting enough task when you’re at home, complete with a fridge full of food and a closet full of toys. But there’s no home court advantage 30,000 feet in the air. What’s a parent to do?

Daddy I'm Bored...Joining a Club

No votes yet

One method for overcoming boredom in your child is to do a little advanced thinking.  Although you don’t want to overwhelm your child by providing too many options, several opportunities exist that can provide hours of activities your child can do during those “I’m bored” times.   By thinking ahead some, you may be able to decrease the frequency of those moments...

Recommend to:



Author Information

Last seen: 4 years 9 months ago
Joined: 04/02/2013 - 9:20pm

Dad Blogs