Spring Sports: Expert Advice for a Great Season | Cypress Moms Network

 

Whether your kid is trying a new sport this season, on one or more travel teams, or somewhere in-between, Spring is a big sports season. Depending on where you live, the pressure to do more—more travel, more practice, more different sports—can feel overwhelming.

Not sure when your child should be focusing on a single sport? Or whether to force them to stick with something they aren’t loving? How should you console your child after a tough loss?

To answer some of these common questions, The Local Moms Network turned to Sports Contributor Scotty Royster,   an experienced elementary PE & Health teacher as well as a popular lacrosse influencer (follow him @laxguyscotty) to get his insight.

At what age should a child be specializing in a sport?
I believe that kids should be playing multiple sports for as long as they possibly can. It makes the child a better all-around athlete which in turn makes them better at their main sport. Specializing in a sport too early also makes the athlete more prone to burnout. A reasonable time to start specializing in one sport would be around junior year of high school.

Should most kids be playing more than one sport each season?
One sport a season is better for them. I played football in summer/fall, basketball in the winter, and lacrosse in the spring up until my junior year of high school, if any of those sports overlapped it became overwhelming not only for me but also for my parents. One sport each season is plenty enough and also keeps each sport fresh.

What should you do if your child wants to try a sport but everyone else in their peer group has been playing already?
Let them play, make sure they are cognizant of the fact that they will be behind their friends skills wise and if they can handle it, it’s fair game. Another factor is do they like the sport or do they just want to be around their friends? If they truly love the sport, a recommendation would be to get private lessons. It’s important that the private lessons are supplemented with the kid training at home also!

What’s the best way to encourage a child after a tough loss?
Different children handle tough losses differently. The common denominator that all kids like is a parent being attentive and listening to them. The last thing any child wants is a parent to tell them what they did wrong or what they could’ve done better after a tough game. There’s a time and place for instructing but after tough loss, it’s certainly not the time.

What should you say if you sign your kid up for something and then they don’t want to do it?
I think it serves as an opportunity for a lesson about commitment especially if they asked you to sign them up. My parents never let me quit anything after I signed up and to this day I thank them for that.

What spring sport do you think every child should at least try, and why?
In my completely non bias opinion (sarcasm), every child should at least try lacrosse. Lacrosse is the perfect blend of finesse, physicality and strategy. The lessons I’ve gained from lacrosse are lessons that have stuck with me.

That’s chatter on TikTok that if your child isn’t really focused and getting expert instruction by age 8, they will never catch up…is that true?
Don’t believe that for a second. Not all things you see on TikTok is true. Charlotte North is the best women’s lacrosse player in the world right now and she did not start playing until she was in 8th grade. Expert instruction for an 8-year-old isn’t needed yet either because at that point the child is still going over the fundamentals of the sport.

For More from The Local Moms Network:

5 Signs Your Child Is Ready for Travel Sports

Why All Moms Should Play Sports

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