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Are Competitive Sports Good for Kids?

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QUESTION: Are Competitive Sports Good for Kids?

“I have a daughter who is 6 and has been in casual gymnastics classes for two years. Her coaches are telling me I need to get her in more classes and start competing as she shows promise to excel in the sport. But I’m just not sure I’m ready for that. She seems to like it, but she is SO young still to be thrown into competitions like this. So are competitive sports good for kids?”

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TOP ANSWERS (AS SELECTED BY MODERATOR):

Are Competitive Sports Good for Kids?
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The following top answers have been selected by a moderator from hundreds of responses to the original question.

“My 9-year-old has been in competitive gymnastics since she was 5 and absolutely loves it.

“We told our kids to try it for one season and then they had the choice to keep going or not. One loved it and the other was over it before it was over but she had a team depending on her so she stuck it out and didn’t go back. Every kid is different but learning about to be a team, working together for a common goal, helping others and so many other huge lessons are so important.”

“Absolutely. She needs to learn how good winning feels but also losing.”

“If she is interested in a certain sport go with that but if she is showing that she likes multiple do that we do soccer football volleyball softball/baseball & basketball each of my kiddos have 1 sport that is their favorite soccer for my son so he just started a travel team but still does everything else and softball for my daughter so she has been doing camps also I also volunteer to coach both soccer teams and volleyball team it keeps us all busy and they love it.”

“Don’t rush it. Plenty of years ahead to compete! What’s the hurry? Competing might turn her away from the FUN she’s enjoying and what she loves!”

“Yes. And if she doesn’t like it then just pull her out. But if she is going to continue to show interest in the sport then she is going to want to compete against other girls. Just teach her it’s ok to lose. And it’s ok that someone else is better. Says congrats and move forward.”

“Some kids need it, some kids like it, some don’t do well with it… Learning styles matter. It’s not one size fits all.”

“Let her try. I tried tons of sports even quite a few because of my dad being such a “pusher.” I am competitive and loved sports but my dad just ruined a lot of stuff for me. I would say to let her try if that’s what she wants to do and if she doesn’t like it then she can quit. Be supportive. I’m a mom too with a 4-year-old and another due any day. My 4 year old plays soccer and while she doesn’t quite grasp the competitive aspect yet she does love playing.”

“As long as when/ if she loses interest you let her stop. And don’t work her to the bone. Yeah, training is needed but if she doesn’t have the heart for it, she will resent it.”

“It depends on your kid. My loved doing things until they were constantly practicing for exams.”

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