Parents, when was the last time you made time for sports? And before you tell me that you took Junior to soccer just last night, I’m not talking about the efforts you go to so your child can play sports. I’m asking when was the last time you were the one who played? The truth is when it comes to our own participation in sports, most adults tend to be more comfortable sitting on the bench.
According to a new study out of Harvard, in which 2056 adults 18 and older were interviewed, “the majority of those who had played sports when they were younger no longer did, with a significant drop-off coming after age 26”.
The study highlights the need to ensure affordable sports for all, as both gender and tax bracket were seen to be important factors in the drop-off rates. Overuse injuries were also identified as a significant reason for why people stopped playing sports. So making sure that our kids don’t specialize early might help to keep them on the road to being players for life.
Another factor that may actually be hardest to combat is that as people get older, they begin to see sports as inconvenient and not fun like they did when they were younger. It’s understandable given the responsibilities that come with age, but when you consider what we’re willing to do for our children to be active, it’s worth it to make the same investment in ourselves, and in doing so, set an example for our kids.
As adults we often tell children to do something because it’s good for them, but what if we thought like kids and just focused on having fun. Try a new sport or master an old one, and forget all about how exercise is beneficial. Just savour how it makes you feel, and then share that with your children.