Sports mat­ter

Kids learn valu­able life lessons.

The Gulf News (Port aux Basques) - - FRONT PAGE - mike­mercer4@out­look.com

PORT AUX BASQUES, NL – Just over: mi­nor base­ball, soc­cer, sum­mer sports and ball hockey.

Com­ing up: ice hockey, fig­ure skating, af­ter-school ac­tiv­i­ties and swim team.

Par­ents and coaches should en­cour­age to­day’s youth to play mul­ti­ple sports and pro­mote par­tic­i­pa­tion in a va­ri­ety of ac­tiv­i­ties, struc­tured or not, as it is likely to lead to greater skill and mus­cle de­vel­op­ment.

Fo­cus­ing on a sin­gle sport can build the skills re­quired for that ac­tiv­ity, but doesn’t nec­es­sar­ily de­velop a well-bal­anced in­di­vid­ual and the fun­da­men­tal move­ment skills re­quired in all sports and ac­tiv­i­ties.

Kids who play mul­ti­ple sports/ ac­tiv­i­ties can of­ten trans­fer learned mo­tor and an­tic­i­pa­tory skills — the un­con­scious abil­ity to read plays, strate­gize their next move and as­sess game sit­u­a­tions — to other sports. Of­ten, they take less time to master the pri­mary sport they ul­ti­mately choose to play.

Play­ing mul­ti­ple sports also can build bet­ter team­mates and al­low kids to par­tic­i­pate to­gether in dif­fer­ent set­tings. Most of­ten, the more they play and in­ter­act, the tighter that com­mu­nity of peers be­comes.

Par­tic­i­pat­ing in mul­ti­ple sports also gives more op­por­tu­nity to build in­di­vid­ual con­fi­dence while less­en­ing the chance for burnout. If a child puts all their ef­fort into one sport, not only do you run the risk of over­train­ing and less­en­ing their po­ten­tial – there is a chance the sport be­comes less in­ter­est­ing for the in­di­vid­ual.

Dif­fer­ent sports bring dif­fer­ent de­mands, and a per­son can think of it as dif­fer­ent links in a chain. If one area of ath­letic per­for­mance is weak, that can slow one area of growth. By do­ing other sports, those links are going to be ad­dressed, de­vel­oped and fur­ther strength­ened.

Food for thought as the fall and win­ter sched­ule of sports and ac­tiv­i­ties are soon upon us.

MIKE MERCER/SPE­CIAL TO THE GULF NEWS

Climb­ing, jump­ing and ex­plor­ing are all great ac­tiv­i­ties that help de­velop fu­ture sports skills.

MIKE MERCER/SPE­CIAL TO THE GULF NEWS

Wa­ter-based sports and ac­tiv­i­ties have been con­sid­ered by many as a great way to de­velop in­di­vid­ual mo­tor skills, while be­ing an ex­cel­lent car­dio work­out.

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