November 25, 2020
When it comes to sports and physical activity, our kids are doing too much, yet not enough. As a mom of two little ones, ages 7 and 5, I can relate to the hurried life - running from karate to soccer, music classes to tennis. In an effort to help our children learn new skills, socialize and keep them active, we signed them up for too much and yet not enough at the same time.
As a founder of Pickup Sports, I wanted to create a way for parents of young kids (ages 3-6) to find an easier way to teach their kids the sports and physical fitness skills that really matter right at home. What are those skills? They are called Physical Literacy skills.
Physical literacy basically means the ability for a child to build motor and ball control skills before they start playing sports. It's like learning the alphabet before learning to read. Things like properly throwing a ball (step and throw), jumping and landing (with knees apart), striking a ball with a stick (hand-eye coordination), dribbling, and much more, are important skills that help build confidence for kids, which leads to them being self-motivated to be active as they grow.
Many parents face this - you've signed your child up for soccer class, they are super excited to play but once you go to a few classes, it becomes a struggle! You find your child sitting in the corner kicking the ball, away from the rest of the kids. Or throwing a tantrum every time it's time to go. Why does this happen: it's simple, CONFIDENCE!
When a child has the confidence to play, they are more likely to have a successful experience, and more likely to WANT to play on their own.
One of the best ways for young kids to build confidence is by learning skills from you, their favorite grown ups! You are their world, and when you teach them new skills while having fun with them, it's more likely to stick.
Before heading out to that soccer class, show them at home how to manipulate a ball with the sole of their feet. Teach them how to kick from a leap. Play games with them at home that make it fun! Encourage them to try new things by showing them how you do it.
Research has shown that kids who master physical literacy skills at a young age are much more likely to become active adults. Another important way for kids to develop these skills is by playing different sports. Our kids are specializing in one sport at way too young of an age, which leads to overuse injuries and burnout. For growing bodies, it's incredibly valuable to use different movement patterns, strengthen different muscles and increase mobility. I have seen many parents acting on the mistaken belief that in order to be successful in sports, their child has to pick one and pick it early. At least until the age of 12, let kids try different things, encourage them to just play and follow your parental instincts. If you have a gut feeling your child is doing too much, you're probably right.
Kids play sports for a variety of reasons, but at the young age it really comes down to having fun and being with friends. Let's always remember to keep it fun and helping them build confidence, because that's what's going to keep them coming back.
Check out the Pickup Sports Box at-home learning system designed for kids age 3-6 to try new sports. Each box includes sports equipment and curriculum to help you introduce your child to a new sport.
Click here to enjoy a special SeeWhatSheCanDo 10% discount on Pick Up Sports at-home sports kits and virtual coaching for kids 3-6 years old. Once there, simply enter the code 'SWSCD' to access your 10% discount when ordering.
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