After the wake of #Superbowl51 between Atlanta Falcons and New England Patriots, as parents of active toddlers, we might get excited to have them become future athletes. Although having your child play sports, like football, at a young age may seem like a healthy idea, some experts disagree.
Don't worry, here are 3 healthy, and simple ways to keep your child-athlete active and injury-free.
1) Focus on Fun
Before the age of 7 or 8, competition can stress kids and eventually turn them off of sports for good. Focus on having your toddler enjoy the activity, turn the focus on participating and collaborating.
2) Provide Variety
Dr. Stubbs, orthopedist at Wake Forest University, states that “Specializing in one sport from a young age, in hopes of becoming a star player, is what contributes to overuse injuries,” It is okay to try to have your young one become the next Lebron James or Serena Williams. However, remember to provide a variety of activities to allow them to use their bodies in different ways. In addition, your child doesn't need to be doing something all the time to be a superstar. Kids at this age need their rest to keep them going strong. So if they play pee-wee football one day, take them swimming the next day, and provide rest on the next day after that.
3) No Pressure
Brooke de Lench, the author of Home Team Advantage: The Critical Role of Mothers in Youth Sports says “Organized programs offer no edge at these young ages”. Therefore, do not put pressure on your kid. Focus on building an active child rather than a all-star athlete at young ages.
As you can see, to keep your next #Superbowl star healthy and injury-free: have fun, provide variety, and don’t pressure them.