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Are sports lessons really necessary for small children?

Are sports lessons necessary

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Published on 04/10/2018

I’m a sports coach at a primary school which happens to have a sports hall to hire for community use. Recently I’ve been asked about hiring the hall for football classes for ages 18 months – 4. Now, as you can imagine as someone involved in the industry, sport is a big passion of mine. And I want to encourage children of all ages to participate in sport.

However, as a father of 2 (a girl aged 2 & a boy aged 8 months) I was wondering at what age it was appropriate to involve our children in organised and structured sport. I know in these classes there will be very little teaching of the sport and classes will be more based around movement skills and having fun but do they need structured classes for that? What happened to kicking a football round in the park?

I was wondering if any parents have experience of taking their children to any of these sports group or classes and what the general thought was? Have they helped as they got older? Did they learn new skills or develop existing skills? Were they of any particular benefit to your little one’s social skills? 

I am skeptical that the benefits to children’s development are anything other than increasing their confidence and ability to socialise with their peers. Although these skills are critical surely they could achieve the same results from being taken to the park? 

Are we being taken for a ride by buying into the hype or could I provide parents with an invaluable service?

Let me know your thoughts!

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  1. Graham

    Chloe has done football, rugby and now swimming she loved rugby but football she diddnt follow instruction very well but enjoyed running about. The swimming she loves as she did the rugby. So I’d day yes as long as the sport caters specifically to that age.

  2. Luke Davies

    I believe young children need to learn fundamentals movement skills. I teach P.E in a primary school, we teach key stage 1 P.E through story and song, the kids love it and get to learn all the skills!

  3. Nick

    Great topic! I make toys for babies – all with a sports theme! ( My view is that as long as the kids are enjoying it, then it is fine. However, I think that even very young children can learn basic skills such as balance, hand-eye, core strength, all from a very young age.

  4. Tony green

    My son does it out of choice he cycles 30 miles a week, fitness club, rugby, cross-country running Jujitsu, 5km parkrun, boxing I enjoy going to watch him

  5. Rhys

    Anything these days which encourages kids to get moving and active has got to me a good thing.

    Maybe it’s helpful to those parents who don’t feel “sporty enough” to host these activities themselves.

    It could be a bit of a money spinner for the company cashing in on those looking for an hour away from their kids.

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