We are often asked what age a child should start playing sports. It’s an important question and one we are happy to help with. You may have heard the phrase “it’s never too late to try something new”, but as a parent you may be worried that your child is too old to begin playing sports, or learning a new one. Will they be uncomfortable as a beginner? Are they too old? Will they be angry at you for encouraging it?
On the other hand, you may have a young child interested in playing a sport, but you aren’t quite sure if they are “old enough” to begin playing. Can my child even understand the game? Will they lose interest quickly? Should I just wait until they are older? All valid questions.
So, at what age should you enroll your child in a youth sports program? The answer may be different for every child, but rather than focusing on their age alone, the most important thing to consider when placing them in youth sports, is making sure they are receiving age-appropriate instruction. We offer youth sports programs for kids age 3-14, but we know a 3 year old learns differently than a 9 year old and that training can make all the difference in the experience your child has regardless of the age they start playing.
Pee Wees (*Ages 3-6)
For this age group, our coaches and instructors lead drills that target the improvement of large and fine motor skills, balance, and hand-eye coordination. Pee Wee activities and games keep kids in constant motion by giving them opportunities to use specific skills in fun exercises and activities. While practice plans vary week to week, basic skills are repeated so players learn the fundamentals of the sport. Officials and staff take time to explain the rules so our young players become comfortable with structured play. By the end of the season, your child should have learned the basic skills of the sport (i.e., how to kick, catch, run, shoot, throw, etc.) as well as the game rules.
Juniors (*Ages 7-10)
Our main goals for kids in our sports leagues for the Junior age group are to refine player’s individual skills and increase their understanding of the game. Coaches and instructors lead activities designed to develop your child’s individual skills while building a greater appreciation for playing as a team. Since repetition builds familiarity and confidence, drills are repeated from week to week as more advanced skills are added. While practice time activities are geared towards strengthening your child’s individual skills, game time emphasizes each player’s understanding of the sport, game rules, and team competition.
Seniors (*Ages 11+)
In this age group, we help players develop a high level of comfort with the sport. Activities are fast-paced and designed to capitalize on the higher capabilities of kids in this age group. There is full integration of team play at this level. Coaches and instructors increase the complexity of drills and teams run more complex plays. Because of the increased awareness of differences in talent level among players of this age, emphasis is placed on helping each player make the most of his/her individual abilities.
As you can see, if you are looking to enroll your 3 to 14 year old in youth sports, it’s not too early OR too late. What really matters is the instruction they receive at any given age. And parents, don’t worry! You can always try a new sport yourself. Age is just a number.
Find a program near you and sign your child up today!
*Age ranges will vary based on location and programs.