If you’re starting to think that you would want and love your child to be engaging in sports, you might be asking so many questions, such as how are you even going to start teaching them the basics? What do you need to focus on?
Well, worry not because this article will help you know how and what you need to prioritize. But, first, to effectively help your kids gain those athletic skills, you first need to understand the four core developmental processes, which are the physical, visual, chemical, and emotional. The following are the different physical sports skill milestones for varying ages to understand more about what you can do at a specific lifetime of your child.
- Ages 2 to 5 – At this age, due to the immature visual development of your kids, they still can’t throw and catch. What is useful for this age is to do unstructured plays like walking, running, and hopping.
- Ages 6 to 9 – Communication between the body and brain is developed and better at this age. So, you can do basic toss and throw with your child. Their balance is also improved, and running feels a bit more natural.
- Preadolescence (age 10 to puberty) – Here, control of body motions is more automatic and responsive, communication from eyes to brain mature thus, allowing for better visual judgment of speed and location. And most importantly, memory abilities will enable the mastering of much more complex plays or actions.
- Puberty (usually ages 11 to 13 for girls; 13 to 15 for boys) – There is a rapid physical growth at this point which leads to a temporary decline in balance skills and body control as the body’s center of gravity changes and both arms and legs’ length increase.
- Mid to late teens – Strength gains start to occur at this stage, and aerobic benefits begin to increase when done with training. But, heavy weights are avoided since the skeleton is not fully matured yet.
Now that you know the significant things that happen in a child for a specific period in their lives let’s go to the fundamental areas of growth you need to target and how you can help your child develop it.
- Strength – You should start simple, especially when your child has not fully matured yet since, as mentioned, the skeleton has not fully developed and may cause problems. Weights can be used to build your child’s strength but never forget to be careful and research proper limitations and safety guidelines.
- Endurance – It is actually the easiest to train for your child. With children’s seemingly endless amount of energy, they are very excited to run around. You can simply just give your child a ball, and off they go, running and actually enhancing their endurance.
- Flexibility – The younger a person is, the more flexible they are, so it’s good to start developing your child’s flexibility once they can do so. You can exercise your kids with simple flexibility exercises like yoga poses for children and not the complex ones right away. Once they develop a routine of stretching, it can help them prevent injury and increase flexibility as they grow and play a sport.
- Coordination – Lastly, to practice and enhance more in this area, the idea of repetition comes in. Do not get tired of practicing your child his or her hand-eye coordination, jumping, catching, and running. They are more likely to be discouraged at first since it can get tricky but once you help and encourage them enough to keep on going, their coordination will be better in no time.
While it is good to start training your child at an early age to prepare them for athletics, do not forget to keep a playful nature as they are still children, and have limitations. You, as a parent, should know your child well to adapt to where they can just go about with the exercise you’re giving them, do not pressure your children, and, most importantly, enjoy while you’re teaching so they will also have fun learning. Good luck with the journey of training your child!