Thu. Mar 30th, 2023

Touch upon this story


My first KidsPost column appeared April 14, 2000. Legendary quarterback Tom Brady was drafted by the New England Patriots on April 16, 2000.

Which means I’ve been writing my weekly children’ sports activities column longer than Brady has been a part of the Nationwide Soccer League.

It additionally means I’ve been interested by children and sports activities for nearly 23 years. Longer actually. I had written 9 of my 27 children’ sports activities books earlier than I began the column and coached greater than 30 children’ sports activities groups.

So I believed for my final column (KidsPost will finish after tomorrow), I might write about what I’ve discovered about children’ sports activities.

● Children mustn’t play one sport year-round earlier than highschool. Younger athletes ought to play quite a lot of sports activities in order that they have enjoyable and keep away from burnout and overuse accidents.

This isn’t simply me speaking. The American Academy of Pediatrics — a well-respected group of youngsters’ medical doctors — advise in opposition to sports activities specialization. Mother and father and coaches ought to take heed to them.

● Children don’t have to journey to faraway tournaments to have enjoyable. For those who don’t consider me, contemplate what children have stated.

A research by George Washington College recognized 81 issues (known as enjoyable determinants) that made sports activities enjoyable. They requested younger athletes to charge how vital every factor was to their enjoyment of taking part in organized sports activities. The gamers rated “taking part in in tournaments” and “touring to new locations to play” as solely the 58th and 71st most-important enjoyable determinants.

● Children and their dad and mom ought to be extra sensible concerning the probabilities of getting a school athletic scholarship. My son is the top baseball coach on the College of Maryland Baltimore County. Mother and father typically ask him, “How good do it’s a must to be to play Division I faculty baseball?”

Liam explains that prime faculties often have about 16 gamers on their baseball crew. Solely 3 p.c of highschool baseball gamers go on to play in faculty. Fewer play on the highest (Division I) stage. “So,” Liam tells the dad and mom, “your son ought to be the very best participant in virtually each recreation he performs.”

It’s the identical with most sports activities. I don’t imply to discourage anybody, however it’s best to get pleasure from your groups and video games now and never concentrate on taking part in in faculty or the professionals.

● Be grateful. Children are fortunate to play sports activities and have enjoyable. So make sure you thank your coaches, referees and all of the dad and mom who carry snacks.

In step with that piece of recommendation, I wish to thank the parents at The Washington Submit for letting me write for KidsPost. I hope we helped some children turn out to be lifelong readers.

Lastly, I wish to thank all my editors and particularly my present editor, Christina Barron. They had been all first-class professionals.

My final piece of recommendation to all my younger readers? Preserve studying and play ball!

Bowen is the creator of 27 sports activities books for teenagers ages 7 to 12. His subsequent ebook — “Off the Bench” will probably be printed in March. Discover out extra at

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