I’m going to go off on a little bit of a rant here… so bear with me. I’ve been in the sports training world for a few years now and there is one thing that really bugs me. Too many times I talk with young kids (6-12) and they tell me what sport they play either hockey, basketball or soccer are the common ones. I always have the same question for them, “Is that the only sport you play?” 75% of the kids say yes! This is a huge problem for young kids, we are specializing them way to early, and I will explain why!
Sports Are Fun!
When kids are young, sports is about having fun and getting them involved, meeting friends, most of them could really care less about who wins and who losses it’s just a fact. The parents in the stands care way more about that stuff. Young boys and girls should be playing all kinds of sports for two reasons;
- It will keep them interested in physical activity and it wont become boring
- They will be able to make more friends and interact with more people
Becoming A Better Well Rounded Athlete
I coach football so I see this all the time. When our OL and DL are un-athletic when they are young, one of them best ways to help with their coordination is to make them play Basketball. They are running, jumping sprinting all the while trying not to bump into people. It is literally the complete opposite of what they normally do! In the summer when the pro hockey guys come back to train when they first start doing speed work, it looks like they are running with skates on, at the end of the summer they look more smooth and natural because they have been doing other things than just SKATING! Playing more sports will allow you to become a more well rounded athlete!
Keeping the Competitive Fire Burning
During off season training it is very easy to fall into a rut, doing the same things over and over again. At SST we put such a big emphasis on competition and struggle but sometimes it gets hard to mimic that in the weight room. Every summer during the High Performance Camp when are athletes look like they are starting to get mentally drained we pull out the basketballs and head to the court. Right away you can see the competitiveness come right out of them while they are having fun! This is so important when training high level athletes, there needs to be hard work obviously but you need to keep them engaged!
At the end of the day, here is my point! Less than 1% of high school athletes will get a FULL Division 1 Scholarship for their respective sport! And 1% of the will go pro and make a living playing the sport that they love. Sure, sports can be the avenue that we scratch our competitive itch, but at the end of the day, young kids need to be having fun. Kids don’t care about all the stuff when they are in grade 3 they just want to have fun! SO, LET THEM!
If you’re looking for more information on preventing overuse injuries and making the weight room something they don’t dread, please Email Bskinner@sstcanada.com to schedule a complimentary demo session today!