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When Should Kids Start Team Sports?

This morning as I was taking Hanna to school I realized there was a permission slip in her backpack.

Preschool Soccer.

(yes, another bad mommy moment ~ the backpack’s been on the hook since Thursday and I just opened it this morning ~ sue me.)

*sigh* We saw this permission slip last year, and it was a pretty easy answer for us. No. She had just turned 4, and we felt she was just too young. However, this year, things have changed a little bit, she’s a little older and now I find myself debating the merits.

Here’s my pros:

She gets to play soccer with her friends.

She gets to run and play and be active.

She gets to learn about team work.

She gets to learn about what it means to be part of a team. (ie you have to be there)

She gets to travel around the state and see new things, and experience new things.

Here’s my cons:

I don’t know if she likes soccer or if she’s going to be willing to play every Saturday morning.

I don’t know if I’m going to be willing to drive 40 miles on a Saturday morning to take her to a game. The games are not in one central location, but all over the southern part of our state

I don’t know if she is ready to learn about being part of  a team.

I don’t know if she’s old enough to really get into team sports.

I don’t know the coaches and their attitudes toward team sports.

Well, it looks like my cons are all about the fact I don’t know much about this topic at all. 🙂 As a first time mom I really have no idea when is a good time to start her in team sports. I don’t know if it’s time for her to start learning  “you said you would, you need to do it” lessons early on a Saturday morning when she doesn’t feel like going to play soccer. I just don’t know. I did ask her if she wants to play soccer and she said “yes” but does she really understand what all “playing soccer” means? I don’t know.

Maybe there’s a part of me that just isn’t ready for her to be old enough, big enough to play soccer yet. I’d love to hear from you moms who have been there and done that. What should I think about, and consider when making this decision, and am I over thinking it way too much?! (NAH… I NEVER do that) 😉 Please, help a mama out. Share your thoughts on this subject in the comments… please. 🙂

Thanks Martha_Chapa95 for this awesome picture!

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2 Responses to When Should Kids Start Team Sports?

  1. You made me laugh with your comment about the permission slip in the backpack! This is a tough question, and I think the answer is often different for each child. My son was never interested in sports until he discovered skiing at age 8 and then skating at age 11. Sports were a major part of his life from age 8 on, and he became an international pairs skater (now he’s a skating coach).

    My daughter and I learned how to ski together when she was almost 3. (It became a family activity because of my son’s interest.) My daughter wanted to start ski racing with her brother at age 3! I would never have started a child with something like that at such a young age if she hadn’t wanted it so much! She was actually a national NASTAR ski racing champion from ages 4-6 until she decided she wanted to be a figure skater. She eventually became an international ice dancer (now she’s a skating coach, professional ice dancer, Pilates instructor, and Zumba instructor). She also wanted to start dance classes early. We had her wait until age 5, but she would have loved it at an earlier age. She still loves any type of dance class.

    I’d recommend taking the lead from your daughter regarding the soccer team. My husband and I had the philosophy of following our children’s lead with sports. If they did want to switch to another sport or activity, we had them finish the season first but didn’t require them to stay with a sport otherwise. That worked very well for us. Our kids loved their experiences (they still love skiing, for instance) and gained new skills, confidence, and great memories from their sports experiences that way. Good luck!

    • Jackie Lee says:

      Hey Deb,

      Thanks for stopping by. I appreciate your input. I think another thing that has to be considered is me. It may be selfish, but I think it’s worth considering how happy/not happy I’m going to be to get up and do this every Saturday morning. Drive her all around the state… at 4 years old. While I think she would probably have a blast, I think there is plenty of time in the future for us to jump into this. I don’t think at this point we’re going to join soccer. There’s still T ball this summer. 🙂

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