Sometimes when parents find out i9 Sports, the local youth sports league of which I am the Program Director, starts as young as three-years-old, they wonder what a three or four year old can get out of a sports league and if it’s worth it for them to play.
However, season after season we see these young kids having tons of fun and learning so much about the sport, and they continue to play with us year after year.
One of the most important aspects in these youngest divisions is to set the right expectations for the parents and kids. Many three- to five- year-olds have never played any sport before, and sometimes they haven’t really left their parent’s side for longer than five minutes! This sets up a handful of issues, but a good, family-friendly atmosphere, usually counter that.
Expectations, as I said, are the most important part of the program for these younger kids. Are these games going to be run flawlessly with the kids giving 100% of their attention the whole time? No, of course not! But it isn’t military boot camp, it’s a youth sports league, and the most important part is the kids have a great time.
We start off each season with a parent’s meeting to discuss the program and set the right expectations. Some programs (like basketball) require a much different sill set than others (like soccer) so what is said at the meeting depends on the sport. However, parents need to understand what the kids will get out of the program.
At i9 Sports, we make sure the kids get an opportunity to learn the sport, play the sport and have fun while doing it. With three- to five- year olds, it’s pretty each to make sure this happens.
Learning at this age group is critical to these kids. They learn to be more independent while learning to play well with others and having fun playing sports. These personality traits are critically important, and something many adults don’t yet have!
Matt Elder is the Program Director for i9 Sports, a local youth sports league based in Marlborough and Framingham. This spring they are offering flag football,
basketball and T-Ball. Visit www.i9sports.com
today for more details.