Get Started Kids Sports Guide
Sports offer children a chance to develop their physical abilities, have fun and forge new friendships. The lessons they learn and memories they create can last a lifetime.
The Benefits of Kids’ Sports
There are plenty of good reasons for kids to get involved in sports. Having fun is likely at the top of every kid’s list, but there are lots of other great benefits too:
- Physical fitness: Getting active improves all areas of physical conditioning, including balance, coordination, cardiovascular health, muscle development and weight management.
- Self esteem: Sports can help children develop confidence and a sense of accomplishment. Both practices and game play offer opportunities for kids to discover their strengths, learn new skills and exhibit their talents.
- Social skills: Team sports offer kids a chance to socialize and forge new friendships. They also learn the value of sportsmanship and maintaining a good attitude – win or lose.
- Teamwork: Kids learn to work with others, take direction and focus their energies – learning to help teammates and count on one another are lessons that last a lifetime.
- Passion: Discovering a passion for sports not only provides an escape from everyday stress, it also helps cultivate essential life skills like concentration, discipline, and commitment.
Choosing a Kids’ Sport
Before choosing a sport for your child, you should consider a few essential questions:
Is my child old enough?
Children can learn some basic sports skills as young as age 3, but most organized team sports for children start around age 5. Keep in mind that children of the same age can be at different stages of development. Consider your child’s physical, social and emotional level, and whether they will be able to participate without getting confused or frustrated.
- Age 4-5 – Soccer, T-Ball
- Age 5-7 – Hockey
- Age 9-10 – Baseball
What skills will my child learn?
Most sports help children develop speed and agility, but many sports focus on additional strengths. You may want to choose a sport that uses your child’s natural talents, or that offers an opportunity to develop new strengths.
- Hockey builds balance, hand-eye coordination, speed and agility
- Soccer builds speed, agility and endurance
- Baseball builds hand-eye coordination, agility and concentration
What is the time commitment?
Before you sign up for a team sport, know the time commitment involved and if it will work for your child and your family’s schedule. Seasons can last 8 to 24 weeks, depending on the sport. Some have early morning practices and most have weekend games.
- Hockey – 1 to 2 hours a week for 20-24 weeks
- Soccer – 1 to 1.5 hours a week for 8 weeks
- Baseball – 2 to 3 hours a week for 13-14 weeks
What equipment will we need?
Wearing the proper equipment is important to prevent sports injuries. Get the equipment you need for the sport, and be sure to have a proper fit. Not only will your child be properly protected, they’ll also have the freedom of movement and visibility to perform at their best.
Download "Kids’ Soccer Equipment Checklist" pdf
Download "Kids’ Baseball Equipment Checklist" pdf
What league is best for us?
There may be a few leagues in your area - do some casual research before signing your child up. Look for organizations close to home that are convenient to get to and where you may know people who have enrol.