Often when kids love a sport, and are good at it, our go-to plan is to give them more of that sport. Winter hockey turns into spring hockey, which turns into hockey camp in the summer months.
But did you know that getting your kids involved in multiple sports and a variety of physical activities can actually be better for them in the long run?
The UK Coach Education Advisor, Andy Grant, is making sure that coaches in the UK are aware of the benefits that teaching basic movement skills such as running, jumping, throwing and catching can have on a child at an early age. This is super news for kids playing sports in the UK because when these movements are combined with a focus on coordination and balance during sports and physical activities, it can have a positive impact on a child’s physical and athletic development.
As a parent, you can do your part by getting your child involved in a variety of sports and activities. And pay attention to how they are being coached, because a multisport approach has real benefits for kids. This approach can help your child be active for life by:
- Building a solid foundation. By providing diverse opportunities for physical activity, kids get the chance to learn a ton of movement skills, which can be transferred to a variety of sports. This makes it more likely that they will remain active and take part in different sports.
- Reaping the physical benefits. Through playing different sports kids develop flexibility, core stability, strength, stamina, power and speed, as well as improve their all-round physical conditioning.
- Preventing injury. When a child sticks with one sport from an early age, the possibility of injury increases as repetitive movements can strain their body and affect the development of muscles. Give your kids variety in their sport and play to help build their body and lessen the chance of pains and strains.
- Developing sport and life skills. Kids will develop important skills like problem-solving, communication, team work and working independently, which are all highly valued attributes in sport and life. It also helps build competence, confidence, connection, creativity, character and caring.
So if you’re looking to positively impact your child’s development, expand the amount of sports and physical activities that they try when they are young. Let them develop the fundamentals of movement first before focusing on becoming the next hockey star. Hey, it worked for Bobby Orr!