Millions of kids play baseball, soccer, and football each year. But maybe these “mainstream” sports just aren’t for your child. Some kids might prefer an individual sport like tennis, fencing, or karate. But maybe your child just wants to try something totally different in 2014! Some of these sports are a little off the beaten path for most youth athletes, but they might be just what your child is looking for!
Ultimate Frisbee is wildly popular with high school and college students all across the country. And although many may look at Ultimate Frisbee as a fun intramural activity, there is actually a governing body and competitive leagues in almost every major city. At 11,000 members and growing, the USA Ultimate youth division includes championship play at the high school, U-19, and U-16 levels. They also sponsor development level programs for elementary and middle school players. Ultimate Frisbee combines elements of football and soccer and is a fast-paced game, keeping players running back and forth. Unlike most other sports it’s completely self-referred, even during championship games! Good sportsmanship and player integrity are critical components of what they call Spirit of the Game™.
Thanks to The Hunger Games series, participation in archery has soared in the last year, especially among young girls! Figures indicate that USA Archery’s membership has more than doubled in the past two years since the first “Hunger Games” movie. Disney’s Brave might have also introduced archery to an even younger audience, encouraging more girls to give it a try. Though archery is a fairly stationary sport, competitive archers actually require a significant amount of upper body strength, endurance and focus to perform well.
Slacklining is basically trying to balance on a loose rope tied between two points. Sounds simple enough, right? However, the fact that the slackline isn’t taut means it acts more like a trampoline and experienced “slackers” can perform all kinds of flips and tricks. Apparently slacklining started as something that rock climbers did while they were hanging out at camp. but is now a big turn-on for yogis, daredevils, and anyone that wants to perfect their balance. Slacklining might be a great in-between season activity for youth athletes so they stay active without having to play another full-time sport.
Pickleball is a great sport to try because no matter your age or physical ability anyone can pick it up! Pickleball combines elements of badminton, tennis, and table tennis and moves as fast or as slow as the players dictate. It’s apparently a popular new sport among baby boomers, but it’s the perfect activity for the whole family in 2014. You can play it both indoors and outdoors so rainy or cold days are no excuse to stay cooped up in the house.