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Active for Life

OCTOBER 2019


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Is your kid into hockey or soccer? Ballet or figure skating? Karate or track and field? In an ideal world, the answer would be, simply, yes.

Experts agree there's no one best sport or activity for kids to play. To maximize fun as well as long-term athlete development, the very best thing for kids is to have the opportunity to try many different activities as well as lots of spontaneous, active free play so they can gain the physical literacy they need to excel in whatever activities they may choose to focus on later in life.

Here’s more on why multisport training beats early specialization in physical activity.

What’s the best sport for kids? All of them

When kids specialize early in one sport, they miss out on important skills and many get injured, burn out, or quit. That’s why top athletes and sports experts say the same thing: Let kids play as many sports as possible.

How to coach multisport kids

Although there’s no doubt that a multisport approach offers many benefits for young athletes, it can pose challenges for coaches. What should you do when tryouts conflict with field trips or tournaments for your players’ other sports? And at what point should you suggest that kids start dedicating time to one sport? Here are a few of our solutions.

Sporty kids also need time for free play

Structured activities like sports offer many benefits for children, but kids also need time to just be kids. True outdoor free play is like cross-training: kids climb and spin and hang upside down—all activities that are essential for their development. Here’s why one expert says active kids need more than just time spent in sports—they also need time for active free play.

Featured activity

Hockey shooting

You don’t need skates or an ice rink to practice hockey shooting with your child. Using items from around the house, like milk cartons or yogurt containers, set up goal posts against a wall. Have your child practice shooting a small ball against the wall—and be sure to cheer and celebrate when he or she scores! This activity is a great way for kids to develop hand-eye coordination.
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