How important is it that children play sports?

I have 4 boys and they have always done at least one sport per year. My twins are 14 and have always played baseball and one of them also does cross country in the fall. My 12 yr old does baseball in spring and cross country in fall. My youngest age 9 does baseball only.

The reason I ask is that my 14 yr old and my 12 yr old both don't want to do cross country this year and I don't want to force them but it will be weird not having a fall sport going on. My youngest says he might not want to do baseball this year. he's done it the past 4 years since he was 5. It's the only sport he plays so if he doesn't play next spring he won't be in any sport.

How important is it that children are involved in sports all through schooling? I know of some kids who don't play any sports and it seems fine but I worry that if I don't push them to play a sport then it would be a bad thing. I guess I am just used to them playing a sport.

What do you think? Do your kids play sports and how important is it to you whether they do or don't?

Update:

I'm not worried about my kids getting fat. I think my twins could eat a house and still be skinny. none of my boys are over weight and they stay active playing outside and we have a skateboarding half pipe my husband built in the back yard! They bike ride and are active in PE and even in the winter with snow boarding and such. One of my twins (14) and my 12 yr old still plan to do baseball too.

Update 2:

My kids do instruments, my older two do guitar, flute and trumpet and my 12 yr old plays saxaphone in the school band. I need to get my youngest into lessons for an instrument but not sure what yet.

Update 3:

I'm not sure how much organized sports really teaches about sportsmanship considering you only make all stars if you are the coaches son LOL seriously sometimes the "politics" of these sports makes me insane!

Update 4:

beetlemilk I have tried to get my youngest into karate be he has no interest. I'll keep mentioning it though and maybe he will decide to try it.

21 Answers

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  • 1 decade ago
    Best Answer

    It sounds like your kids are balanced and healthy...congratulations. Did you know that 75% of kids quit team sports at 14? There's lots of reasons.

    Do your kids what to quit because of coaching...or competitiveness? Maybe it's too competitive and they don't want to work that hard. At some point you have to let them go and make their own decisions.

    Do they have other interests that they want to work on? Maybe that's why they want to quit. Also, sometimes they don't have friends on the teams. Friends are key to keeping them in sports.

    Perhaps they want to try another sport. I think that's great. High school is a great place to try something new. If they want to let them.

    As long as they are staying out of trouble, at some point you have to let them make their own decisions. You can ask about their reasons and give them your opinion, but if you force them to do it, you're asking for trouble in the long run.

    Source(s): Thirty years of coaching and teaching...and sixteen of parenting!
  • 1 decade ago

    I don't have kids but I was one, and my mother forced me to play sports and I hated it. But even after a rough day at cross country I felt better, and after a tough day of back to back volleyball and tennis, or softball I was always proud of myself.

    I missed out on time with friends but the teams took their places.

    I guess I would try to talk to them and see why they want to quit, or make an agreement where they pick something up instead. Some school club or some other group, because doing some thing is better than nothing.

    Sports and clubs look better when you apply for college and it is never too early to think about that.

    But good grades play a bigger part, and if you're against some one with the same grades, the sports and clubs would be the tie-breaker.

    I would've regretted never playing sports if my mother hadn't pushed me.

    Who knows, they may miss having sports in their lives and want to jump back in.

  • 1 decade ago

    As long as they still get exercise and are active and healthy, I don't think sports are that important. I think they are useful for building teamwork, co-operation, confidence, friend-making skills etc, but if your boys have been doing sports for awhile, i'm sure they've already experienced that.

    As long as they won't be bored and will still keep active, then i'm sure it will be fine. Maybe they could try something different like rock climbing or diving?

    My 15 y/o dances in a few different styles at a pre-professional level, horse rides, cheers (which is only about 3 months out of the year) and has various music lessons, so it's busy, busy, busy. My 6 y/o does tae kwon do, and dance, as well as piano and guitar lessons at school. My 3 y/o does tae kwon do and gymnastics. They all love their various sports, and it's hectic but we usually do well with chaos. Keeping fit and healthy is definitely important to our family!

  • 1 decade ago

    I think that playing sports are very very important. I think all kids should play something at least 1 season. What it does is teaches teamwork, good sportsmanship, competition, and its healthy to be active.

    Since your kids have all played sports, I do not think it is important that they do it all through school. I do not think that it would be detrimental for them to not continue.

    Musical instruments are great, very beneficial.

    I just want to say that I think you give great answers.

    I have coached youth athletics and was an athlete. My oldest plays sports, 1 of them is bowling (his choice, he loves it)

    Is your youngest interested in martial arts, or taking an art, photography class or anything like that?

    yes, there always seems to be a parent or coach that pushes too far, shows favoritism ect. doesn't seem to matter what sport

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  • 1 decade ago

    Well, I don't think that it's important to do a *sport*. I just think it's important that children are involved with something that makes them feel accomplished. That could sports, musical instruments, choir, dancing, scouts etc.

    I always insist that my girls are involved in a couple of things per year. I like for them to choose at least 1 active thing, but if they truly had another interest, that would be fine as well.

    I don't want them to get bored or be home so often that they are on the net as much as me, yanno! lol

  • 1 decade ago

    I think parents need to expose their kids to all sort of things and let them choose which you obviously did. Don't force them if they don't want to they will only do it half way.

    I personally never liked sports of any kind. I did camps during the summer and have a working knowledge of tennis, baseball. I also loved to swim but there was no swim teams so in my area so only did it recreational.

    I also had piano lessons for a few years, trumpet and can read music.

    I did martial arts all through high school but never competed just did it for exercise and I liked it. (I guess you can call that a support but like I said never competed in it )

    My brother did all of what I did exception he did drums instead of trumpet loved tennis stuck with it and even did it in college and got a minor scholarship for it.

    My kids are just toddlers and I will put them in sports but if they don't want to that is fine with me. Pleanty of childern go through school and never play a competive sport or are never part of a team

  • y
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago

    They are reaching that age where if they don't have something to keep them engaged them they will head for trouble. It doesn't have to be a sport, any activity will do. Otherwise they start just hanging out and for teens idle hands do lead to the devils work. I made the mistake of letting my son take time off from stuff. I thought what could be wrong with hanging out with his friends. Grades started to change, confidence started to change, moods and attitude started to change. Just a disassociation from everything except hanging out. I got lucky in that i made him go mack to playing football. Half way through the season he thanked me. Completely turned him around and got him going again. I don't really care if it's a sport but they need to have something besides school and hanging out.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    To me, it is incredibly important that my children are active. They all play team sports through school and outside school. My second oldest has said he no longer wants to play soccer and instead take more music lessons. For me, as long as he's active, doing organized sport isn't mandatory. If he has a hobby and is active, that's good enough for me.

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  • 1 decade ago

    Don't think it is that important. If a child wants to play a sport, great, if not, no big deal. As long as they are being active somehow. I think it is good to try and get your child to be interested in some sort of activity, whether that be a sport, play a musical instrument, or being in drama club, etc.

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