Help Her Master the Basics

Most preschoolers aren’t ready for organized team sports, pediatricians say. They’re still learning fundamental motor skills, and getting those motions down is critical for excelling at sports later. If your child focuses on specific skills like batting and kicking before she masters skipping and jumping, she might struggle with running and balancing efficiently.

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Don’t Overdo It

Sports are such a big deal that sometimes parents can go too far. Some encourage an intense focus on a single sport at an early age, while others enroll their child in four activities at once. However, both approaches can backfire. “Too much monotony — one sport several times a week plus weekend matches — can make it feel more like a job than a fun activity,

Keep It Low-Key at Home

If she pulls the T-ball tee out to practice swinging, encourage her but don’t turn it into a heavy-duty lesson. A few at-bats might morph into a game of hiding the ball, which is fine. Just make it fun and support her interest by using the time to play and move.

Give Him a Say

Assuming he’s tried out a few things over the last couple of years, your child has probably developed some preferences. Ask him what team he’d like to join — you may be surprised by his response. “Parents often put their child in the same sports program that his friends are in, but that’s not always the best approach,”

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Explain the Real Commitment

Before sign-up day, make it clear to your child that she must participate for the whole season and that if she doesn’t enjoy it, she can try something else next time. It’s reasonable to expect a 7-year-old to see a season through from start to finish; this is the age when kids are learning responsibility in school too.

See the Big Picture, Not Just the Score

When children show talent at this age, some parents daydream about college scholarships — and then push their kid to the brink of burnout with private coaching and travel teams. “Many people forget why they wanted their child to play a sport in the first place: for social, emotional, and physical development,”

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