Just before school started at the end of this summer, you couldn’t drive 2 blocks without seeing signs for recreation department sports teams: soccer, football, gymnastics, cheerleading, basketball, and dozens of other activities. And this is all in addition to whatever the schools would be offering. It’s great that our kids are being encouraged to take an early interest in active lifestyles, but as a parent, how do you decide which sport is right for your kid?
WeSellMats happens to believe there’s no one right answer for that question. It’s all about getting the kids up off the chair and moving in the world. Take a good look at your child and the activities he or she is interested in, then ask yourself the hard questions. Am I willing to sit in sub-zero degrees to watch my 5 year-old run into other 5 year-olds who can’t see where they’re going through their football helmets? Am I willing to sell magazine subscriptions and donuts by the gross to pay for my 10 year-old’s basketball shoes? Is it really worth my while to sign my 3 year-old up for Intro to Skateboarding? Ok, maybe we exaggerate a bit, but the point is that whatever activity you choose to support your child through should be one that you and the child can live with and enjoy.
One big question you might want to consider is whether or not the activity is one the child can do for a long time (in terms of years) or if it’s something that will teach skills that can be used for a lifetime. Gymnastics is a great example. While your child probably won’t be on the uneven bars at age 55, she will be using the balance, strength, and flexibility she learns now in tumbling class for the rest of her life. Gymnastics teaches skills every child should learn and retain through adulthood (plus it’s an indoor sport, so you won’t be freezing your tookus off on frozen metal bleachers in arctic temperatures while you watch!).
Start them off right. If they’re really little, we suggest our tumbling mats. These thick, shock-absorbing mats are perfect for little guys who love to jump, dive, and roll. They fold up for easy storage and are easy to clean. And when they’re old enough to bring their gymnastics lessons home with them, take a look at our full line of gymnastics equipment endorsed by one of the greatest gymnasts in US history, Nastia Liukin. This line of gymnastics equipment has everything you’ll need.
Whatever sport or activity you decide to encourage your child in, remember that the most important thing they need from you aside from encouragement is a safe way to learn the craft. Give them good instructors and solid equipment, and they’ll learn to love the active lifestyle – and that’s what it’s all about.