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Old 01-15-2015, 12:19 AM
 
4 posts, read 2,843 times
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It's been a while since I was a kid so hopefully there are some good people here who can give me recommendation on what they remember about playing sports at a young age.

My kid just turned 5 and is a fairly good shooter for his age. I signed him up for our local basketball league and the only one available was one with 6 and 7 year olds. Most of the kids are 7 and in the first grade. These kids play on rim that is 8 foot in height and my son has been practicing on a 6' rim. He is decent on the 6' rim but the 8 he only makes it sometimes and still needs to work on building arm strength. The other kids are taller than he is on this team. He's gone to one practice and said he had fun but only made a few shots and most just hit the rim. I asked the coach if he should wait it out until he gets older and he said that since they don't keep score it won't be a problem and that he should just practice with a normal adult sized basketball to build up his strength.

My question here is should I wait until he gets older for him to play basketball at this stage in his childhood or do you think I should let him play with the older kids and have a first basketball team experience where he doesn't have the same skill level as some of the others?
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Old 01-15-2015, 10:08 AM
 
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You might want to post this in the parenting forum. As for your question, I would wait since the league is intended for kids who are older.
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Old 01-19-2015, 03:16 AM
 
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I think it depends on your kid, but I was in the same situation when I was younger and it was horrible for me. I'm not athletic in the first place, so that was probably part of my problem. For a really athletic kid it might not make a difference. My first sport was soccer in Kindergarten. My parents tried to sign me up for the youngest league, but they wouldn't let them because I was turning 6 in September, and the cut off was Sept. 30th. So I ended up in the 6-8 year old league, and it happened that the majority of my team was 7-8. So I was playing with 2nd and 3rd graders as a Kindergartner. I was a good foot shorter than everyone else, significantly slower and less coordinated, and I didn't understand the "plays" that we were supposed to run at all. Everyone else on my team had learned the basics in the "lollipop" league. My parents didn't want me to quit and made me finish out the season to teach me a lesson about "commitments." I cannot stand soccer to this day and have nothing but horrible memories from it. It wasn't until high school that I really got into fitness/athletic activities because I'd always just thought I was horrible/couldn't do it because of this early experience.
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Old 01-19-2015, 08:56 AM
 
9,677 posts, read 5,833,659 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by harrison21 View Post
I was a good foot shorter than everyone else, significantly slower and less coordinated, and I didn't understand the "plays" that we were supposed to run at all. Everyone else on my team had learned the basics in the "lollipop" league. My parents didn't want me to quit and made me finish out the season to teach me a lesson about "commitments." I cannot stand soccer to this day and have nothing but horrible memories from it. It wasn't until high school that I really got into fitness/athletic activities because I'd always just thought I was horrible/couldn't do it because of this early experience.
I was the non athletic kid in school as well. Hated sports because of it. Then my own kids came along and along the way I've coached soccer, little league, and girls softball. Of all of them little kid soccer is the most fun. Here's the truth, and this may be what happened to you. None of those kid at that age actually knew how to play soccer. Some just happened to be a little stronger, faster, etc than the others. So that made the parents and some of the parent coaches believe their kids were great athletes when in fact they were just a bit physically ahead. Funny thing though, when those kids turn 13, the others start catching up physically and since they didn't have the physical ability when they were younger, they didn't learn wrong, so they were better able to learn the real game and play it. What I observed is a lot of the guys who had been big athletes in school couldn't coach little kids because they couldn't explain how to do what they did. They'd kick the ball, throw the ball, hit the ball, and impress the heck out of everyone, but all they could tell the kid was kick harder or run faster. Since I hadn't been the star athlete in school, I focused on teaching fundamentals. A lot of my non star athletes went on to play for select clubs and school teams when they got older.

Go down to your local rec soccer league and volunteer. The fact that you remember what you didn't like will make you a better coach for those little ones. Those kids don't need star athletes to coach them; they need an adult who focused on the fun and fundamentals when they are 6,7,8 years old. They will have plenty of time to play for championships when they get older and more developed.

Besides, those little U6 are as cute as heck when they try to play.
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