Watching our kids engaging in sports from a young age feels great. We see them learning new skills, learning to work cohesively with others, getting stronger – and having a great time doing it (for the most part at least!). There are sports that they want to try, sports that you want them to try, the sports that may get them to the Australian Open 2029 – but which are the best sports to help their development?
While we have a firm belief that any and all sports are FANTASTIC in that they get kids active, today we’ll be naming specific sports and their qualities that can are great for certain age ranges. Before we start, here are few specific benefits of sports that are great to be reminded – and seeing the Australian Open has officially begun, values that are also shared by the Novak Djokovic Foundation:
In preschool, kids are very much developing their coordination, balance and getting their feet planted firmly on the ground. The goal for this age to master the basics of movement and develop healthy habits that will set them up for life.
At this age, it’s better to encourage certain movements rather than specific sports. These include:
These activities work to coordinate their feet/legs and hands/arms, and building the strength of these muscles. For parents, we highly encourage ball games that involve running around in the back yard! Aside from helping their development, it’s a lot of fun and will get your little ones ready for a good nights sleep!
Unlike pre-k which is very much focused on self-development, primary school is where most team sports begin and flourish. They’re at school and building important social skills and a good understanding of how a team operates together. Mentally, they’re getting stronger and have a greater focus and drive. Physically, they’re also getting stronger and can run further for longer, throw better, and the like. If they enjoy the sport, they’ll give it their all and may even continue to play throughout all their schooling!
At this age, kids can really start to stand out in the sports they’ve been practising, or are naturally built for. This is attributed to by their improved memory and understanding of techniques and strategies involved in sport, as well as their improved physical strength, speed, size and general ability. They can become much more confident at this age too.
Intermediate school is also the time for growth spurts, especially for young men. This means more time and care needs to be taken on warming up, cooling down and general conditioning of muscles.
Many kids will start participating in contact sports, as their bone and muscle strength has increased, which will have lowered their risk of injuries compared to in primary school. This means that as well as keeping up the aforementioned sports, kids tend to start higher impact sports such as:
In high school, the world is their oyster. They have refined their motor skills over the last eight years. They pick up sports quickly. We remember starting sports like fencing and underwater hockey at high-school, both of which utilised the technical skills from various other sports and activities and could be quite strenuous – but so much fun!
Growing pains and growth-related injuries can still occur so be mindful and make sure your kids get the right treatment and adequate rest/recovery if they develop pain or injury. At this age they can play:
If at any age pains or problems do develop, it’s important to treat them properly so they don’t develop into anything worse or cause other problems as they grow. We LOVE helping kids get rid of pains and get back to their healthy, happy and energetic selves. To book an appointment or for more information, give us a call on 1300-FX-FEET or book online here.