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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 youngsters’ sports activities column longer than Brady has been a part of the Nationwide Soccer League.
It additionally means I’ve been fascinated by youngsters and sports activities for nearly 23 years. Longer actually. I had written 9 of my 27 youngsters’ sports activities books earlier than I began the column and coached greater than 30 youngsters’ sports activities groups.
So I believed for my final column (KidsPost will finish after tomorrow), I’d write about what I’ve realized about youngsters’ sports activities.
● Children mustn’t play one sport year-round earlier than highschool. Younger athletes ought to play quite a lot of sports activities so 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 must journey to faraway tournaments to have enjoyable. When you don’t imagine me, contemplate what youngsters have mentioned.
A examine by George Washington College recognized 81 issues (known as enjoyable determinants) that made sports activities enjoyable. They requested younger athletes to price how essential 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 mother and father needs to be extra life like in regards to the probabilities of getting a school athletic scholarship. My son is the pinnacle baseball coach on the College of Maryland Baltimore County. Mother and father usually ask him, “How good do you need to be to play Division I faculty baseball?”
Liam explains that top faculties normally have about 16 gamers on their baseball workforce. 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 mother and father, “your son needs to be the very best participant in nearly 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 you’ll want to thank your coaches, referees and all of the mother and father who deliver snacks.
In step with that piece of recommendation, I wish to thank the oldsters at The Washington Submit for letting me write for KidsPost. I hope we helped some youngsters grow to be lifelong readers.
Lastly, I wish to thank all my editors and particularly my present editor, Christina Barron. They have been all first-class professionals.
My final piece of recommendation to all my younger readers? Maintain studying and play ball!
Bowen is the writer of 27 sports activities books for teenagers ages 7 to 12. His subsequent guide — “Off the Bench” can be revealed in March. Discover out extra at fredbowen.com.