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sports: what is the point?


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I think sports are good because they are a systematic way to get exercise and to learn how to move in your own body. If you are doing team sports there's the added benefit of just learning to be part of a team and the sacrifices involved with that too.

 

Mine are doing several different sports throughout the year and I'm always amazed at how many 8-12 year olds simply don't know how to move their bodies. I have seen many kids who flat out don't know how to run. I wonder how much that is a product of living in an urban environment?

 

If budget is a concern, take up bike riding or trail hiking, or jogging or something. Just be systematic about it and work it into the schedule so your child builds the habit of exercise for enjoyment.

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I chuckled to myself when I read the title because I ask myself that all the time. I'm surrounded by males who love sports, and I don't see any point in it. That doesn't mean I'm against it though, as it can have positive attributes such as Snickerdoodle mentioned. It just means that I don't see what it contributes to society, or why it merits such high dollar amounts in the pro realm. I'm getting off topic.

 

Something I would love to do is get together a bunch of kids who want to play the same sport and just meet regularly, like a team, and play. Of course, there wouldn't be other teams to play against, but I'm thinking back to the days when kids just met at the neighborhood ball park and played ball for free during younger years.

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Sport is very good for my children. We do Basketball (I referee, they play) It has had several benefits.

1. they learn to play with and work as a team.

2. it is a requirement of homeschooling here that the children do a sport.

3.It has really really helped my dyslexic children to improve their coordination.

4. it is just about the only time that my children interact with other children.

5. every time someone mentions the old socialisation thing, I can say my children play basketball.

 

We cold not afford sport and that is one of the main reasons I referee. It pays their court fees.

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My boys play tennis and badminton, and also go swimming twice a week. They love being involved in these sports because they find them fun and they have a great bunch of friends who take part with them. For them it's not about competition, not about being the best, it's all about getting exercise, fresh air, and enjoying time with their friends. It doesn't need to get expensive.

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They learn teamwork, good sportsmanship, goal setting, the importance of rest and good nutrition, not to be bossy but to be aggressive...

 

All my kids are involved in a sport. However, they are all boys (which I think makes it somewhat more important socially just because almost every other boy plays a sport too). There are other ways to learn these skills. For example we do robotics. However, that is perhaps even more expensive than playing a sport. Community sports around here are comparatively cheaper than other options. You could get a season in for maybe $65...because all the coaches are volunteer and the fields belong to the town.

 

Brownie

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The point?

 

  1. Structure. Many kids need an abundance of it.
  2. Team process. Kids benefit from the process of working as a team.
  3. Responsibility. Learning to attend practice and work towards a common goal is useful.
  4. Organized physical fitness can be of benefit.
  5. Competition. Some kids thrive on it.
  6. Exposure to a variety of life's recreational options.
  7. Sometimes kids have a particular sports bent that can be nurtured.

 

I don't believe in structured, for pay, competitive team sports just because you HAVE a kid. But being against them because you didn't do them and don't wish or can't make the money seems a bit narrow.

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I agree with all the benefits listed above.

I'm not sure I could find the article again, but I read somewhere that kiddos who engage in sports have a very reduced risk of alcohol, drug, and tobacco abuse in high school.

 

In addition, many life long friends can come from sports. At my son's wedding, those in the wedding party were not his classmates but rather his soccer buddies.

 

:)

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I wish my kids were more interested in sports! They don't like any, but I think they are a great part of a balanced life. I won't repeat the benefits mentioned above.

 

When sports becomes an obsession, or takes over the whole family life, there's a problem. But learning to play on a team is a great thing, imo. Learning those physical skills is important to overall development, though not essential - I am living proof of that! ;)

 

When I was a kid I avoided all sports. I was bad at them and hated them. As an adult, I regretted my avoidance. Everyone else at the picnic would be playing volleyball or softball, and I'd be sitting with the old people.

 

I understand budget concerns too. That's a separate issue though. If I could do it all over again, I'd try harder to get my kids to enjoy sports. (Not forcing them to do something they truly despise.)

 

Interesting topic!

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For most children:

Physical fitness

Time management

Goal setting

Perseverance

Teamwork

Sportsmanship

 

For some children additionally:

Motor skills work -- cheaper than OT, supplement to OT

Social skills

Heavy exercise helps regulate anxiety or ADHD related behaviors

 

All leagues in my area offer scholarships. Some leagues do not require extensive paperwork to apply for scholarships. You do have to be willing to ask.

 

Theoretically you can do all those things without being in a sport. I think to do so you need to make developing those skills a priority and build activities into your schedule which meet these purposes. I also think that a child can do organized sports and never achieve the above--you need to be actively observing your dc's progress to assess and decide if the next season you need a different sport or coach or other change.

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The point?

 

 

  1. Structure. Many kids need an abundance of it.

  2. Team process. Kids benefit from the process of working as a team.

  3. Responsibility. Learning to attend practice and work towards a common goal is useful.

  4. Organized physical fitness can be of benefit.

  5. Competition. Some kids thrive on it.

  6. Exposure to a variety of life's recreational options.

  7. Sometimes kids have a particular sports bent that can be nurtured.

 

 

I don't believe in structured, for pay, competitive team sports just because you HAVE a kid. But being against them because you didn't do them and don't wish or can't make the money seems a bit narrow.

I agree. I don't care for sports or games in general (though I played lacrosse and golf in high school). I don't watch sporting events and very rarely play games.

 

All three of my youngers play lacrosse. They have learned and benefitted from all the things Joanne listed, plus my gifted-but-easily-frustrated 11 yo has learned to push past her comfort zone to do better than she thinks she can do, for the good of the group. They are also learning resource management: they need to know, in fast real time, where their resources are on the field, where the obstacles are, and how to remove those obstacles and maximize the resources to move the ball to the goal. They also play chess with friends weekly throughout the school year, which helps with visualizing strategy, but at a much slower pace.

 

Because they are interested and engaged, they are constantly reading and watching videos about the game - how to improve stick skills, defense, etc - and then practicing what they've discovered. That easily translates to a general mindset of looking for ways to improve and practicing habits.

 

There is the pride in personal accomplishment/improvement, and joy in just getting out there and doing something challenging, too.

Edited by MyCrazyHouse
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Dh and I neither one are sport people, that doesn't mean we aren't active.There is a time and opportunities in life to learn all of those things ascribed to sports in other ways. It can be a great thing I'm sure for some but not requisite to a complete life.

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Dh and I neither one are sport people, that doesn't mean we aren't active.There is a time and opportunities in life to learn all of those things ascribed to sports in other ways. It can be a great thing I'm sure for some but not requisite to a complete life.

:iagree: We are far from sporty here.

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(Brownie - I'm not picking on you, specifically. Your comment was just the first one I saw that provided an easy way to respond.)

 

They learn teamwork, good sportsmanship, goal setting, the importance of rest and good nutrition, not to be bossy but to be aggressive...

 

 

Those are all wonderful things.

 

And they are also concepts it is easy to learn in many settings other than sports.

 

My son dances. He has participated in robotics and rocketry clubs. Both of my kids do lots of theatre. (Community theatre is free, by the way.) All of those activities provide endless opportunitues to learn about teamwork, sportsmanship, setting goals, working hard, taking care of oneself (especially in dance), respecting others, etc.

 

I don't think there's anything magic about sports.

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More specifically, can't a child learn to work hard despite obstacles and lazy days doing school? I didn't do sports, and we are on a budget, so I am just thinking through all of this while dd is young. :001_smile:

 

Is it sports or is it a budget question?

 

What if she wanted to do music lessons and join a kids orchestra (that run into the thousands of dollars per year) or what if she was passionate about art and wanted to take art classes that cost major $$$ ?

 

I mean sure kids can do no activities. They can play at the playground for free, run around the neighborhood for free. We have done years worth of art at our kitchen table and played around with numerous musical instruments with no formal instruction. But there is something I cannot put into words that my kids have gotten from being part of a sports team and part of a student orchestra. They have done everything from our towns recreation league (very inexpensive) to a team that cost over $13000 per year not to mention extensive multi-state travel commitments.

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RaeAnn, millions of people in the world learn teamwork and get exercise without doing team sports. If sports isn't a big part--or any part--of your dd's life, she will be just fine. I would't worry about it for a nanosecond. :)

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My boys golf, with their dad, and get all kinds of quality time doing it. It is a sport that will carry them into their elderly years if they so wish. Dh golfs with clients all the time. It is a good "networking" sport. Not to mention that it gets all 3 boys AND Dh out of my house for 4 hours at a shot!~ :lol:

 

My oldest has Asperger's and there is no way he would be able to be on a team. He doesn't get the dynamics at all and can't.

 

Dawn

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Accomplishments in sports, like academics, are something a kid earns for himself rather than gets handed to him, whether he is in his backyard or on a team.

 

I also think kids can benefit if they are paired up with an excellent coach.

 

My kids benefit from being with me, and yes, it s my job to teach them about life. But there is just that something about having an external person push you to a place where you never knew you could go, and get you there intact, that is amazing. For a little kid in gymnastics it might be that hard-won or ward roll or first vault, or in swimming, the first dive or alternating breathing lap in the pool and realizing you dd not drown. Yes, it's cool to do that with Mom and Dad, but one more step away fom the mom/dad safety net is one more step towards believing in yourself, too. (and a coach can be a future job/college recommendation writer).

 

A good coach is someone other than mom/dad who can build true self esteem through accomplishment, not empty praise, and who can say 'no' without it hurting, but inspiring.

 

Sports require thinking, but also clear the mind, build bones and the immune system, and get the wiggles out so the kids are ready to study again. It is hard to stand straight or sit in a chair without good core muscles to hold your posture.

 

Sports are critical to our lifestyle even though our family's genetic destiny is likely to produce zero 'jocks.'. :001_smile:

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I haven't read all the posts, but the posts on the first page about teamwork, camaraderie, perseverance, physical fitness, I concur completely.

 

Listening to another grown-up is good for us.

 

One of the big reasons for us is being a part of the community. We aren't from here. We don't do school here. We don't do church in this town but 30 minutes or so away. Sports are a way we can get to know other families locally and be part of the community. Yesterday we went to the local pool and my two oldest children saw and played with friends they met through the soccer or softball. Worth it right there.

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One of the big reasons for us is being a part of the community. We aren't from here. We don't do school here. We don't do church in this town but 30 minutes or so away. Sports are a way we can get to know other families locally and be part of the community. Yesterday we went to the local pool and my two oldest children saw and played with friends they met through the soccer or softball. Worth it right there.

 

:iagree: Yes, there is an element of needing to be a part of the community that drives our involvement in sports locally.

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I do not see any need for organized sports in clubs and teams. All the character traits listed can be developed through other activities, such as studying a musical instrument, singing in a choir, caring for farm animals.

I do, however, see a large need for regular physical activity.

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I don't think kids should "have" to play an organized sport and I really wonder about the amount of time some people put into baseball, etc when they know their kids will give it up at some point. But I do want my kids to be active. They take gymnastics and it has been very good for ALL of them. It helps coordination and strenth, etc. My oldest DD has slimmed up a good bit and is much more flexible. We do a short soccer season in the fall for fun only. It's cheap and they love it.

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I do not see any need for organized sports in clubs and teams. All the character traits listed can be developed through other activities, such as studying a musical instrument, singing in a choir, caring for farm animals.

 

I do, however, see a large need for regular physical activity.

 

:iagree:

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It's often how boys (and adults) socialize.

 

For only a small segment of the population. Boys and men I know socialize in a variety of ways. Some like watching or attending games together. The geeks we know play things like D and D(or other such thing). Some do Prayer or Devotion time together. Some play golf together. I know some that play basketball. Around here others love to hunt- and many subsets within that- gun or bow- turkey- deer. Some like fishing. Some like poker. Some don't have that need and just do family time or individual time.

 

fwiw my parents thought group sports were important so heavily encouraged/forced me to participate. I was miserable and hated it. I wish they would have thought outside the box and realize they are not for everyone and ime organized sports there are many people that don't thrive with the environment.

 

I think encouraging activity in general and throughout life means your child will more likely to stay active throughout their life. Often ones that I know that were super athletes in school don't really carry that into adult(except a very small amount) as they seem to only associate activity with that particular sport.

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I chuckled to myself when I read the title because I ask myself that all the time. I'm surrounded by males who love sports, and I don't see any point in it. That doesn't mean I'm against it though, as it can have positive attributes such as Snickerdoodle mentioned. It just means that I don't see what it contributes to society, or why it merits such high dollar amounts in the pro realm. I'm getting off topic.

 

Something I would love to do is get together a bunch of kids who want to play the same sport and just meet regularly, like a team, and play. Of course, there wouldn't be other teams to play against, but I'm thinking back to the days when kids just met at the neighborhood ball park and played ball for free during younger years.

 

 

This pretty much sums up my philosophy, too. I like playing sports, I just don't get the hype around professional sports. I wish my kids were interested in playing sports. We forced them to do soccer for a few sessions, but neither one liked it at all. Ds1 wanted to try karate, but he wouldn't even come out from behind me at the gym. I kept taking him back for 6 weeks to see if he would eventually participate, but no. My kids do swimming lessons, and I'm trying to talk them into more personal sports like tennis or golf. I think they'd do better at that. Actually, the OT suggested individual sports for my Aspie, but I'm not sure how he would do, since the karate was so awful.

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My boys golf, with their dad, and get all kinds of quality time doing it. It is a sport that will carry them into their elderly years if they so wish. Dh golfs with clients all the time. It is a good "networking" sport. Not to mention that it gets all 3 boys AND Dh out of my house for 4 hours at a shot!~ :lol:

 

My oldest has Asperger's and there is no way he would be able to be on a team. He doesn't get the dynamics at all and can't.

 

Dawn

 

:iagree:

 

I've got one golfer. The other two aren't sports oriented. But I love The First Tee program for the one who is a golfer. He's learned a lot about the game and self control. For an Aspie, that's not something that comes naturally. I enjoy playing a round with him now and then and so does Dad.

 

We've never pushed the non sporty guys into anything. Oldest played baseball until he quit enjoying it and youngest is very physically active but isn't overly interested.

 

I think it really depends on your kid. We only insist they finish their commitment if they choose to do something and then they can stop after that. But that's for anything - not just sports. We are physically active in other ways though.

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I never would have thought sports were that important until my painfully shy daughter asked to play soccer. She went WAY out of her comfort zone because she really wanted to play. There has been an amazing transformation in her confidence. She plays soccer and softball and the boost to her self esteem is undeniable.

 

I don't push sports, but if I had a child that really showed interest, I would probably try to move things around in the budget to make it happen. I never understood the hype about organized sports until I saw the changes in my daughter. I get it now.

 

My son is not into athletics, at all, and we're fine with that.

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All the benefits listed on here are what I would agree with. There are other ways to learn those things, but if someone learns something through something they love, they tend to remember it better and apply it more. My brother teaches sports camps for a living through Campus Crusade so I might be a little biased though.

I had never really thought much about what he does until I was visiting him once and we were playing around on the driveway with a b-ball while we visited (I talk best when I'm moving). I have never been amazing with my 3 point shots so was always trying to move around him to get closer to the basket. He stopped the game and asked why I wasn't shooting, I laughed at him and said I just don't do 3 pointers. He spent hordes of time teaching me how to use my legs properly and follow through and properly use the whole body to push the ball the distance. What surprised me about the whole thing was that for every little piece he had to teach, he connected it to something in life. By the time I had learned to do something as simple as a 3 point shot I had also been reminded that life cannot be lived with just my head, but with the whole body, we need to be focused on our goals, if we don't have a good foundation in what we are doing, we will end up off target with what we are shooting for, and that listening to others around us, can sometimes help us see things about ourselves, that we can't see on our own.

 

It's a long answer to your question, but I thought perhaps it applied. If you child doesn't like sports, than find perhaps it can learn all those things with something else that she loves. But if a kid enjoys sports, I can't think of a better way to help them learn all those things.

Edited by Dory
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fwiw my parents thought group sports were important so heavily encouraged/forced me to participate. I was miserable and hated it. I wish they would have thought outside the box and realize they are not for everyone and ime organized sports there are many people that don't thrive with the environment.

 

I personally think organized sports are great, for those who want them. They are also good to try out or look into, as in a sample class of something here or there.

 

But they aren't needed or good for everyone.

 

My boys HATE organized sports, and for them the only thing they would learn is I am bigger then them so therefor can make them do something they hate. Then have lots of people getting upset at them for not enjoying something they hate. And then people questioning them for not being thankful for being forced to do something they hate.

 

 

The point?

 

  1. Structure. Many kids need an abundance of it.
  2. Team process. Kids benefit from the process of working as a team.
  3. Responsibility. Learning to attend practice and work towards a common goal is useful.
  4. Organized physical fitness can be of benefit.
  5. Competition. Some kids thrive on it.
  6. Exposure to a variety of life's recreational options.
  7. Sometimes kids have a particular sports bent that can be nurtured.

 

I don't believe in structured, for pay, competitive team sports just because you HAVE a kid. But being against them because you didn't do them and don't wish or can't make the money seems a bit narrow.

 

Thanks for the very good list Joanne. It does make a good point for why sports can be good. But all those benefits can be found outside of sports - and for some kids those benefits aren't benefits (ie. Competition)

 

1. Structure

Some sports have lots of structure, but not all. Also not all kids need the sort of structure offered by sports. Structured activites can be found outside of sports.

2. Team Process

I think there have been posts in the past about how annoying team projects in public school can be. Being part of a team isn't always great. For sports you can be picked on it you aren't good enough, of if you miss practice (Even if for a very good reason) or get in trouble if you aren't part of the team since you are late for practice (Which is sometimes outside the child's control). Working as part of a team can be a benefit, if it's a good team and you want to be part of it.

There are also lots of other team activities outside of sports, music related teams for one (Choir, band)

3.Responsibility

There are so many ways to learn responsibility outside of sports. I think chores are a much better way. For young elementary it's usually the parents responsibility to help keep equipment organized, to write down dates, to make sure they can get a ride to practice, .... And worse cause situation you aren't responsible and you miss out on stuff or drop out.

4. Organized physical fitness can be of benefit.

Un-organized physical fitness can also be of benefit. For example biking around town isn't a sport but in some cases is more valuable. It teaches independence as well as physical fitness. It is also a great introduction to the rules of the road for when/if getting a driver's license.

5. Competition. Some kids thrive on it.

And some kids hate it with a intense passion. Competition can also be found in many places outside of sports. And if your child wants competition and is not good at sports no matter how hard he/she works it might be best to search out something else.

6. Exposure to a variety of life's recreational options.

There are many of life's recreational options outside of sports. IMHO it's not good to avoid all sports. But exposure to them may come from a sample class at a gym to realize, "Yup, this really isn't for me". IMHO Forcing someone to do something for weeks when they know it's not for them from the get go is no necessary for sports.

7. Sometimes kids have a particular sports bent that can be nurtured.

Some kids don't. And some who do - don't want it nurtured. My oldest runs for exercise and fun - but hates doing it as part of a team. Putting him on a running team makes running not as fun and turns him into a grump about it. Leaving him alone about it works best.

I

 

 

My boys current choice of recreational is board gaming. Biking to the shop (exercise) and then playing a wide variety of board games with a wide variety of people:

Socialization,

Team work (Co-operative games)

Responsibility (Once you start a game you can't bow out even if the game lasts several hours - since that might wreak the game for others. Also borrowing other peoples games and making sure they are treated with the utmost respect)

Competition (Wanting to win, balanced by cooping while when losing)

It is also something my Eldest has a particular bent for.

 

One nice bonus is it gets him talking and socializing with lots of people. He usually sits back in group activities.

 

Where we play there is a blind board gamer and Eldest is getting quite good at playing games with him. Knowing how to tell him about the board, moving pieces depending on what he wants, passing him dice, telling him his role, ...

 

So what this rambling post is hopefully getting at is IMHO sports can be good for some kids, and not good for others. No matter what it is important to try out different things. Don't pigeon hole yourself or your kid into one activity.

 

For example we have tired out many sports, and will do so again in September. Perhaps one day we will find something that one of the boys likes. We will also try out many non-sports things.

 

Either way we will get lots of exercise along the way.

 

(I have been interpreted numerous times writing this, I hope it makes sense)

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One of the best decisions I ever made was to join my high school's varsity soccer team. I had played rec level and some travel soccer, but never on a school team. I joined in 11th grade and had to work hard, because I was out of shape (compared to other players) and hadn't played on the school team for 3-4 years like the other players.

 

My senior year went better, and I won a coach's award. In front of several hundred people, my coach said that I always worked as hard in practice as at a game. That meant more to me than being valedictorian of my class by far, because academics came easily. I had considered graduating high school a year early, but I'm so glad I stayed and played soccer for one more year.

Edited by HoppyTheToad
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In addition to many of the reasons others have mentioned, the main point of sports for my boys is that they love it. Of course you can learn to work hard, etc. without it, but since it is their passion I find a way to make it happen despite tight finances.

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I can't personally relate to disliking sports. My DH, oldest, and I all do martial arts and soccer. DS1 also does gymnastics and wants to take tennis lessons, play basketball, and maybe even T-ball or baseball. He and I also run together. DS2 is too young for most of these, but can't wait until he's 5 and can join in.

 

I was chronically ill for five years and couldn't exercise or drive for two years. Now that I am mostly better, I am so, so, so much happier that I can exercise and do sports again. The only time my brain ever shuts off for long is when I exercise. I am completely focused on the game. The rest of the time, even while falling asleep, my mind is going a thousand miles an hour. So in a way, sports are like meditation for me.

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I have 3 boys. Only one has a MILD interest in sports-- and that's baseball only.

 

I have tried. EVERYTHING. Hubby is literallly distraught over it. He was very athletic as a kid, and just doesn't "get it"-- our boys just aren't into sports.

 

They play outside, ride bikes, are very active boys. Just ZERO desire for any kind of real sport.

 

They ARE, however, very into scouting. And that's their "thing". They love it and are happy doing just that.

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I'm surprised by how many kids hate sports or feel like they are forced to do them.

 

I think you either enjoy it, or you don't. I didn't like it. I tried, but I was the kid that would hope and pray all day that it would rain and practice would get cancelled. My daughter is the type that panics if she wakes up to rain. "Mom, you don't think they'll practice, do you?!"

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For most children:

Physical fitness

Time management

Goal setting

Perseverance

Teamwork

Sportsmanship

 

:iagree: sports have been a huge plus for my kids. Staying calm under pressure, putting previous mistakes out of your mind and focusing on the next step/play/pitch, supporting teammates, and especially realizing that the fun part - winning games and tournaments, doesn't come without the non-fun, hard work of practice.

 

I think kids are better off if they have something that will be their "thing"... where they will work hard and then perform and feel they have accomplished something. Sports does that plus physical activity and team work in one bundle, but there are other ways to achieve these goals.

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For only a small segment of the population.

 

I was thinking that, too.

 

To my knowledge, my husband has never played in a pick-up game of basketball or any other sport. My son has played occasionally after church.

 

My husband socializes primary around gaming, both online and in person.

 

It's actually really funny to imagine my husband heading over to the basketball court with his buddies . . .

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I can't personally relate to disliking sports. ... Now that I am mostly better, I am so, so, so much happier that I can exercise and do sports again. The only time my brain ever shuts off for long is when I exercise. I am completely focused on the game. The rest of the time, even while falling asleep, my mind is going a thousand miles an hour. So in a way, sports are like meditation for me.

 

It is perfectly possible to love physical activity and to despise "sports".

We are a very active family and love doing stuff together: biking, hiking, rock climbing, backpacking, plus for DD horseback riding. But all of us dislike organized sports or (shudder) "exercise".

My husband and son are introverts and MUCH prefers to do individual activities like the ones mentioned above to any kind of team sport.

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For me sports serve a few purposes focused exercise, which is important to me since they are not in a gym class. Team work, homeschooling does not really encourage team building, so sports do that. We do not do sports every season, but finances have never kept us from joining at least 1 season a year. Non-competive/team activities such as scouting can teach the teamwork stuff, so it doesn't have to be a sport. And many sports are individual so it becomes a personal choice. I try to have my kids do 1 team sport per calendar year, and volunteer with the organization to reduce the cost of registration. Generally it is baseball or soccer in teh spring.

 

The biggest benefit we have found has been my kids learning that everyone else counted on them. If they were being idiots, or didn't show up to practice etc they let everyone down. As young teens that is important for them to learn imo. It is one thing to know we count on them at home to pitch in, it is another thing to know that if they goof off and the game is lost because they didn't bother trying it let's everyone down. The rest of their lives they will have people counting on them, bosses who count on them to do a good job, clients/customers that count on them, family and friends etc. May as well do all I can to ensure that message is in their heads from a young age that being a team player is a vital skill.

 

I played baseball from ages 7-11, after that I never did sports. I was in guiding but focused on my own individual projects, not working with the others. TO this day I am not much of a team player. I like to be in charge, I like to be in control, I do not share well with others basically. I do believe a lack team sports contributed to that. My personality already leaned that way, but I was never forced to step out of my own head to work with others in a constructive way kwim.

 

Team sports do not need to be competitive to be effective either. My kids do not play on rep or travelling teams. We play for the fun of it. Team sports are not the end all and be all but I do feel they are an important thing to incorporate into our lives.

 

Off to read all the other pages of replies. Though I have 1 last thought. It has been through sports (individual and team) as well as other tem building clubs (like scouts) that has made such an impact and improvement in my kids and their issues. The exercise, focus, working with others, social skill building, coordination, and just plain making friends has been beyond beneficial to them.

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It is perfectly possible to love physical activity and to despise "sports".

 

Yep.

 

As I said, my son dances. He loves it and will take as many classes a week as we allow and can afford.

 

He also loves mucking about in the backyard. His current passion is building "obstacle courses" for himself and his friends.

 

This summer, he's swimming every day the weather allows, too.

 

None of us are sports fans, though. I think my son watched a baseball game once with my father-in-law, but that's it.

 

I don't even particularly enjoy watching the Olympics.

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I have been asking myself this lately. I played competitive sports from age 3 until age 23 (when I had my first child). My husband also played until he was 1/2 way through college. I was always a big proponent of them - learn to work well with others, physically, it's great, it's fun, etc, etc, etc.

 

However, my dh is now 400# and I cannot blame that on sports but I know MANY adults who started gaining weight (and never stopped until they got huge) once they stopped playing sports. these are typically those who played highly competitive sports, in which they could eat as much and whatever they wanted b/c they would burn so many calories during practices (for dh, it was football & wrestling).

 

We now eat REALLY healthy (mainly plants, no meat) and if we had a scale, i'm sure it would show dh is losing a few lbs but b/c of all the jobs he has, exercise is not possible so he would need a biggest loser couple of months to get down to a decent size.

 

anyway, i see my oldest dd eating like CRAZY & she is a pole bean (all of them are) and i think - if she does sports, she will have to eat more & more & it's hard to train yourself to STOP doing that after having to do it for so long...idk. there are SO many opportunities for her to learn self-discipline & working well with others. I would rather instill a <3 of exercise (like biking, hiking, running, swimming, etc) that she can carry with her into her adult years & not HATE exercise like her parents do. I HATE exercise but LOVE sports - however, my sport is a team sport you cannot play alone so I just don't exercise (i haven't gained weight yet b/c of being pg so much - nursing just takes it all off - but i have lost a lot of muscle).

 

I'm just not seeing sports as much of a priority as i used to...

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I signed my younger son up for soccer a couple of years ago. I thought for sure he would love it. He is constantly moving and loves to run. Well he really loved the drills and the running. He did great with that. As soon as they played a small short game he just shut down. He didn't like it at all. I asked him why and he said he was upset because he could never get the ball and he didn't know what was going on. I think he just liked having fun and running around, but as soon as it became competitive he didn't. I was the same. I don't mind running around, but I'm not particularly adept at sports so as soon as I have to perform it's just frustrating.

 

 

Reminds me of ds8, I signed him up for soccer starting at age 3. The first year he left the field crying constantly because the other kids weren't sharing the ball.

 

He finished the season at age 7 and then was in his car wreck. Every game he grumbled and complained loudly about it being too hard, every other week he wanted to quit etc, but we stuck out the season. My rule is once you are registered for the season you complete it no matter the arguement. Last season he could not play, he will never be able to play soccer again because it puts his leg at too great a risk. He cried every week about not being able to play. This is a kid that by appearances hated the sport every year. But it wasn't the sport he hated, he loved it, he loved having a team, he hated pushing himself outside of his comfort zone. And who doesn't hate that. He would rather stay in his comfort zone and not get sweaty, or run farther, or steal the ball(he would still rather wait for them to share), or a fate worse than death- Fail. Playing a a team even while he grumbled along was very very good for him.

 

Some kids get that push out of their comfort zone performing in dance, or choir, etc. I have just found for my family, even lazy me, that sports push us to that edge much faster and challenge us without pushing too far kwim. Individual sports are great too for that, but for my fmaily at least it is too easy to stay in your comfort zone in individual sports/extra currics. Particularily when you have kids like mine that are terrified to fail. They are more likely to quit or not push when on their own. In a team though despite the urge to quit they would never do so in front of johnny kwim and it challenges them to push harder and that is a good thing.

 

I doubt my kids will be life long players of the sports they play as kids, but they will be always willing to push themselves, challenge themselves, step out of that comfort zone a little more, work in a team, and all those skills that I think will do nothing but make them more successful at all they do in their lives.

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I signed my younger son up for soccer a couple of years ago. I thought for sure he would love it. He is constantly moving and loves to run. Well he really loved the drills and the running. He did great with that. As soon as they played a small short game he just shut down. He didn't like it at all. I asked him why and he said he was upset because he could never get the ball and he didn't know what was going on. I think he just liked having fun and running around, but as soon as it became competitive he didn't. I was the same. I don't mind running around, but I'm not particularly adept at sports so as soon as I have to perform it's just frustrating.

 

Good grief. You do have to make sure as parents that your kid understands the basic objectives game if you sign him up for a sport like soccer (even if it means finding a competent friend to help you). One doesn't show up at practices just to run around aimlessly.

 

It is premature to decide a boy doesn't like to compete if he was never taught the rules of the game. Who could hope to excel in this situation?

 

Bill

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There is also a difference between team sports and solitary sports/physical activity. For example swimming can be done extensively independently, as can running or hiking or bicycling. Therefore I think they are not quite the same as, say, soccer or basketball. And there are other team activities like singing in a choir that provide the team structure.

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I did make him finish out the season. Mostly I don't like paying for something and not finishing.

 

The problem I have with many of the organized sports clubs is that they are too serious too soon. Even when I brought my kids to tot sports at the Y I had a mother once tell me she was frustrated because her son wasn't learning any specific t-ball skills (he was 3). I find that to be such a major turn off.

 

I wasn't meaning to imply that you hadn't. Actually most of my rambling wasn't directed at you, it was just your post that reminded me of ds crying that they wouldn't share.

 

I fully agree that they can be too serious too soon. We only participate in recreational leagues that focus on being a good sport and having fun rather than winning.

 

That was something else I should have put in my earlier posts, kids having good sportsmanship and learning how to be a good winner and a good loser. Absolutely they can learn that elsewhere, but I think it is most easily taught and ingrained in playing team sports.

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I don't think anyone needs sports, but I will say that my kids (especially ds9) have a DEEP love of the sports they participate in (volleyball, baseball, swimming). It adds to their lives. They are healthy and happy, and our family enjoys the time we put into participating.

 

I have no doubt that non-sport families have their own thing that they love, that provide the same benefits. I grew up in a non-sports family and for us it was scouts and camping. Other families I know focus on music and the arts. It's all good.

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Bill these were 5 year olds. We did talk about the game and DH watches a lot of soccer. So it's not like DS had never seen the game.

 

Still, 5 is still not the time to decide he doesn't like to compete. it is not uncommon for 5 year olds to be a little spaced-out in games. At 6 they are less so. Even less at 7. And at 8 or 9 those same sort of boys typically become competitors if they stick with a game they enjoy (which may or may not be soccer). While there are some boys who may be more naturally competitive this is a quality that is learned, and it is an important part of a child's education IMO.

 

Bill

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