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Sports Then and Now

The 5 Best Sports for Kids

Posted on August 04, 2016 by Martin Banks

Many variables contribute to how a child develops in their early years, and while reading, puzzles, and other traditional “brain boosters” are vital, sports are just as important. Sports are also important to a child’s development for many reasons — promoting a healthy lifestyle as well as teaching teamwork and cooperation are just a couple of them.

As early physical activity and competition can help shape a child’s behavior, the debate that every parent faces is which sport(s) to sign their kids up for. With such a wide variety to choose from, the pressure to pick the right ones feels pretty heavy.

Here are five great sports for you to sign your kids up for at a young age:

1. Soccer

2067_main-300x175@2xSoccer is considered one of the best sports for children to start at a very young age. It’s a low-maintenance, easy-to-teach game that encourages kids to just run around and have fun.

Unlike basketball, football and baseball, which require more finely-tuned motor skills to play properly, the core concept of soccer can still be enjoyed without perfect mastery of one’s foot-to-eye coordination. It’s the easiest game to teach to a child — run as fast as you can, kick the ball at the net and make sure the other team doesn’t kick the ball into your goal. Simple, right?

Soccer teaches children how to interact with others to work as a team. It also helps them become more coachable, learning to follow instructions and execute game plans.

2. Golf

Golf is a low-impact, cardiovascular activity, but carrying clubs for a round can actually burn more calories than an hour of full-court basketball.

Golf teaches children the joy of competition and also offers a sort of technical mastery that other childhood sports can’t quite match. Learning how to maximize the swing of a golf club takes years of practice, and even once mastered, it still requires small adjustments along the way.

The sport needs more equipment than most others, but the lessons golf can teach in concentration, strategy and technique are more than worth the investment.

3. Swimming

It’s safe to say that most kids enjoy water. Encouraging them to participate in a sport that puts them right in the middle of a pool is an easy sell.

Swimming is arguably the best cardiovascular exercise out there. Since you use every part of your body to swim, all of your muscles are worked, but without the pounding or stress that running or lifting weights will put on your body.

Swimming provides a thrill of racing against other competitors without the danger of racing cars or bikes, or the injury risk of running.

4. Gymnastics

This sport is for all those kids who want to be like Spider-Man when they grow up. Gymnastics acts as somewhat of a bodybuilding activity for children, boosting their upper body strength and core control. Gymnasts also see an increase in spatial awareness, flexibility, timing and balance.

While this sport has a significant amount of injury risk, it also teaches children to have a sense of performance-level displays.

Gymnastics helps children become more focused and athletic young adults.

5. Fencing

TL45764Getting your kids interested in fencing shouldn’t be hard, since it involves, you know, weapons. In fact, fencing, also known as “swordplay,” has been a popular sport since the 15th century.

Fencing helps increase a child’s balance, speed, concentration and reflexes. It encourages patience, as various strategies must be deployed to defeat different opponents.

Don’t worry about the safety of the sport, which is easy, since it revolves around playing with swords. The swords aren’t sharp on the edges and have rubber or plastic tips on the ends, and fencers wear padding all over their body for protection.

Sports can be highly beneficial for kids, but they don’t have to be the traditional baseball, football or basketball. Consider these as starters for getting your kids active in the sporting world.

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