The 2 most important things in youth athletic development (ages 2-12)
- Have a huge variety of activities
- The majority of their activities should be free play
As Parents, we need to put our kids in situations where they have the opportunity to experience as many different sports, activities and movements as possible.
As humans, we are largely a product of our movement experiences. Kids need to experience large variety to develop optimally as athletes.
On a daily basis, kids should run, throw, swing, climb, crawl, jump, swim, lift, push, slide, play, roll, and hop.
Does your young athlete have access to hula hoops, bouncy balls, baseballs, softballs, gloves, bats, basketballs, basketball hoops, tennis balls, rackets, trampolines, jungle gyms, nerf hoops, bicycles, swimming pools, skateboards, wiffle balls, slides, and monkey bars?
Free play, without instruction from an adult is the best way for kids to develop athleticism. Teaching kids about sports has its place, but they should always have time to explore and be creative when playing. Free play with other kids at parks or in backyards is a great way to learn cooperation, fair play and teamwork at a young age.
Kids who get a lot of free play time are more creative, and better at problem solving. They also develop into much better athletes because they don’t have to be told what to do.