There are a whole lot of things to consider when it comes to kids and sports. My son is three. Currently, he likes to hold a baseball bat by the wrong end and he prefers to kick a soccer ball that’s fairly flat. But he’s a boy, and it’s likely that at some point we’ll get him into organized sports. It’s a very large concern of mine.

Making Smart Decisions on Kids and Sports

I grew up on the east coast, so I played soccer. When we moved out to Arizona, I played softball and flag football in junior high, then basketball and hockey as I got older. It was a lot of fun, but athletics were never my strong suit.  Today, I know about the other side of sports: injuries. Today, football is arguably taking over baseball as America’s national pastime. All of my friend’s sons play football, and the other day one of them ended up in the hospital with a concussion. He’s 10.

This leads me to a decision about kids and sports. We’re going to get my son into sports as soon as its appropriate, but we’ve decided to try to steer clear of football as much as possible. Although it’s a great team building sport, a lot of fun to watch and good exercise, there’s mounting evidence that it can have severe effects on people later in life. I don’t want my son to go down that path if possible.

You could make the argument that this is all hypocritical because I used to play hockey. After all, you go faster on skates, and there aren’t too many sports that encourage straight-out brawls while wearing knives on your feet. But hockey is an outlier in sports today. It’s not popular in Arizona — you have to search it out if you want to play, as I did. For my son, it’s more likely that he’ll want to play what his friends play, and I’ll bet it’s not hockey. Not unless we move to Toronto sometime soon.

Now this could all change tomorrow. Maybe football gets safer through technology and advancements in helmet design, but for right now, it’s a sport that I’d rather my son not do. He probably will regardless — boys will be boys and all that — but if he does, then I want to make sure he’s as safe as possible. My son’s health is of my primary concern, and I want to make sure he stays healthy.

So am I off base? What do you think about kids and sports? Let me know in the comments below.


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