As parents there is one truth we can all agree on; kids ask for more, more candy, more toys, more time to play before bed, more hugs – those are the best and always a yes! However, more times than not we have to say, ‘No.’ But what would you say if your child wants to play more than one sport?
Would you wonder if it is healthy? Is it too much for them to handle? Over the past several years, studies have come out in support of children playing multiple sports. The United States Olympic & Paralympic Committee created the American Development Model to help parents and young athletes realize their full potential and utilize sport as a path toward an active and healthy lifestyle. The American Development Model incorporates five key principles, where number three is ‘multi-sport participation.’
Multi-Sport participation can be broken down into 2 buckets: learning several sports in a class setting and playing on multiple team sports competitively. Let me explain something important though, competitive multi-sport participation is that your child plays different sports during separate seasons, not at the same time. Competitive team sports can become demanding for a child especially for one who is in multiple. We do not want to overwhelm our kids with being on three or four teams at a time! The goal is to let kids simply experience a variety of sports to emphasize motor and foundational skills they will need as they develop and grow.
Organizations like JumpBunch fully grasp this concept by creating convenient and affordable access to multiple sports* for our youth. The structure of JumpBunch’s class model creates opportunities for all kids to participate and learn multiple sports in a non-competitive environment. JumpBunch curricula focus not only on the fundamentals of each sport, but also provide the opportunity to socialize, exercise, and play games to build motor skills.
What if your child isn’t necessarily on a path to the Olympics? It is still important to introduce them to different sports so they can enjoy the health, social, and developmental benefits of playing. As our kids get older, these experiences can help them find a pathway with sports, whether that pathway is recreational or professional. If a kid develops a positive relationship with sports, the benefits—like staying active and discovering the healthy activities they truly enjoy—will stay with them for a lifetime.
*Each JumpBunch sport ensures that kids have fun as they learn each sport in a social, non-competitive environment. Click here to see which JumpBunch programs are available near you, and make sure to invite a friend! Our award-winning curriculum caters to both first-time participants and more experienced players alike.