Many kids find a sport they love in elementary school, and by the time they reach middle school, they are exceptionally skilled. However, not all kids are interested in sports until they reach middle school, or maybe your preteen has burnt out on a previous extracurricular activity and wants to give a new athletic program a try. But is it too late to start a new sport in middle school?
It’s Not About Comparison
If your student athlete is excited about trying a new sport, that should be the top priority. Not every team member or solo athlete will be an all-star, college athlete, or go on to the pros. Instead of comparing how hard they have to work to catch up, focus on why they are drawn to a sport. Often, students are drawn to a sport because they have natural ability or they love the strategy of the game. Maybe their BFFs are on the team.
However, if they have a natural talent for the sport or their previous athletic training can complement their new sport, they might just be an all-star. Just look at how many college and pro football players are plucked from basketball or rugby.
The Skills They Develop Extend Beyond Their Sport Of Choice
Sports aren’t just played to win. Whether participating in a team sport, such as soccer or baseball, or an individual sport, like golf or dance, the skills developed go well beyond the training and competition.
- Improved overall physical fitness
- Learning to work as a team
- How to move forward after setbacks
- Confidence and self-discipline
- How to focus and be mentally resilient
- And much more!
It’s Never Too Late
Parents and coaches must be mindful of the messages we send to our youth. While it is natural to want to see our children succeed, the ultimate goal is to see them at their best, even if they are not the best. With the average middle school student between the ages of 11 and 13 years old, they still have their whole lives ahead of them. So, it’s not too late to try something new!
Also, remember that our kids are more resilient than we are and more open to change and learning new things. Every year, semester, or trimester, they have new teachers, coaches, and new subjects of study. When it comes to trying a new sport, let your student start where they are and support their athletic aspirations by investing in on- and off-season training designed to give them a Competitive Edge. Let us know how we can assist!