Obviously we here at SportsSignup are a little biased in our opinions of youth sports—we love ‘em! Most of us played one sports or another in our own time; some members of our team even went on to high school and college athletics. And now that a lot of us have kids of our own that are playing it’s like we never left! The early morning practices, the late night games, the weekend tournaments, juggling the schedule of two athletes, all while trying to make time for a healthy dinner and ensure schoolwork gets done—oh the joys of being a sports parent. Most of us wouldn’t trade this time for anything in the world but that got us wondering, why do parents register their kids for youth sports? Chances are more 5 year olds don’t really care if they’re on a baseball team or not, so what motivates us as parents to get our children involved in youth sports?
Here are some of the reasons we came up with:
1. I played sports as a kid and loved it! I want my child to have the same experience.
Obviously if you loved to do something as a kid, whether it was youth hockey or playing an instrument or what have you, you hope your kids will love it as much as you did. And how will you know if you don’t at least try, right? They might find they love basketball even more than you ever did.
One word of caution for sports parents! Your child is their own person. Just because you were the superstar athlete in your younger days that doesn’t mean you child will be just as athletically inclined. And even if they are a “natural” they may not love sports the way you do and that’s ok! You want to encourage your child to try new things but don’t push them to do something they hate just because you want them to like the same things as you.
2. I want to keep my child active.
Childhood obesity is this country is a serious concern for many parents and one great way to prevent it is to make sure your kids are getting at least 1 hour of physical activity every day. Obviously you do a little bit more moving around in soccer and hockey than in golf or baseball, but getting kids active and exercising (and disguising it as a game!) is a great way to instill a healthy attitude that will hopefully stick with them for years to come.
3. I want my child to make new friends.
There’s no guarantee that your child will walk away from a season with 12 new BFFs, but maybe they make 2-3 great new friends! Most kids see the same 20 or so classmates day in and day out, so a youth sports team is a great way to meet new people. Belonging to a team pushes kids to learn how to work together and rely on each other as teammates, which can form the foundation of a fantastic friendship.
We’d love to hear from all the sports parents out there—why did you sign your kids up for a youth sports program? Did you pick any particular sport for any particular reason?