Sports play such an integral part in your kid’s life. It doesn’t matter the age group. It helps develop their motor skills, social skills, wellness, emotional and spiritual (in the sense of belonging). However, even with an extensive list of pros, there are a few cons that you need to consider and be aware of.
If you think back to your own childhood, there isn’t a memory that includes a scratched knee or bleeding toe. Kids should be kids, and getting the bumps and bruises is part of the adventure and exploring. But according to Stanford Children’s Health, sports-related injuries accounted for 40 percent of all injuries sustained in the age group 5 to 14 years. That is more than 775 000 and one in four of these injuries are seen as serious. But why the sudden increase in injuries? It’s all due to the shift in overuse injuries which usually is only seen in adult athletes, which is now occurring more and more in kids. This is because parents are now focusing on developing their kids’ full potential in sports at a much younger age (from four years). It’s not a bad thing, but because the specialized training is more repetitive and intense than regular practice sessions the schools provide, it became the most significant factor contributing to the overuse injuries increase. Concussions are typical injuries kids can sustain during any game or practice session. The top 5 sports with the highest number of head injuries are football, baseball, softball, basketball and cycling. But surprisingly, basketball has the most injuries sustained from any other sport. Including concussions, there are many more injuries that kids can sustain from the sport like groin pulls, shin splints, ACL tears, hamstring strains and ankle injuries. One prevention measure you as a parent can do to get the best basketball shoes for ankle support for your kids.
Kids don’t only sustain physical injuries playing sports, but emotional strain too. If they are the star of the team, they are put under extreme pressure to maintain the level of expectation that the team, coach, parents and school place on them. Should the team lose the game, they feel the disappointment more as they feel that they contributed the most to the loss. Even if your kid doesn’t play in a team sport, like swimming, it doesn’t lessen the emotional strain. Especially if you took the effort to get professional coaching for your kid. They know the financial investment you made in their sport, and they push themselves extra hard not to disappoint you. An emotional strain like stress can lead to depression and manifest in physical ailments like vomiting and headaches.
Sports do become many kids’ passions, and you as a parent have an ingrained need to support in any way to help develop that passion for your kid. That doesn’t make you a bad parent. In fact, it’s very normal behaviour. However, you have to be consciously aware of the cons to all sports and be better prepared to help alleviate the effects these cons will have on your kid.