EduKids Early Childhood Education Centers

Game Ball!

Posted on: June 27, 2011

Children are involved in all kinds of play.  A very important part of play is team sports. 

Some serious questions about team sports are debated and considered in many communities, schools and households:                   

1.  How old children should be when they formally enter team sports?                                                                 

2.  What kind of team sport should they play?                                                                                                            

3.  Should there by mixed sex or single sex teams?                                                                                                                        

4.  What is the requirement of the child to be on the team?                                                                                                  

5.  What are the requirements of the family for a child to be on a team?                                                           

6.  Who is the coach and who is in charge?

These discussions are important and often personal.  Adults who have been successful members of a team, either as a player or coach, will want to advocate and support their child in getting involved in team sports.  Adults who have had challenging or stressful experiences in team sports may be hesitant to enter their child, fearing a similar experience.  There are opportunities in many communities for children to join league learning teams as early as 3 years old. However once children enter formal elementary school there are different requirements and expectations of team. 

So what about team?  How do children benefit from being a member of any team?    

– They become aware of other children and how each one is the same and is different from them.                     

– There is a commitment to pull together for a common goal.                                                                                                            

– Children have an opportunity to try their hardest, not just for individual “glory” but for collective pride.  

– Children on a team learn about winning and losing.                                                                                                                         

– Team members cheer for each other and celebrate together.                                                                                   

– Friendships are forged on teams.                                                                                                                           

Expectations are part of life in every situation – commitment to a team, understanding the need to finish a job started and giving your individual best for the benefit of all are important life lessons.

Being on a team very exciting and can have a lifelong positive impact.  If you have children with an opportunity to be part of summer sports teams – or any team – weigh the benefits with the challenges.  Make an informed decision that you will commit to. 

A young kindergartener just joined a neighborhood little league T-Ball team and attended his first game.  With excitement and great pride he told me that “they gave me the game ball!”  He was the catcher for the game and his job was to put the balls on the T for the kids when they came up to bat.  He did a great job.

But even better than getting the game ball was the fact that it was signed. He told me, quite seriously, “My coach signed it. I am going to keep my game ball forever.”

C.S. age 5

-Kate Dust, EduKids Education Director

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