When is the best time to start playing sports? Have you ever wondered? Then we have a solution for you!
When it comes to sports, there is no right or wrong age to start playing, unless you want to take it up professionally or competitively. If you aspire to be the next Sachin Tendulkar or PV Sindhu, then the earlier you start the better.
But on the other hand, if you want to pick up a sport for health reasons, fitness and recreational purposes, then any age is the right age.
Sports is an activity that keeps you fit and makes you feel good about yourself. It also brings fun and joy into one’s life. Hence it is encouraged to pick it up at any and every age.
To understand better about what age is the right age to start playing sports, we’ll break up the article in two:
1) For leisure/recreational purposes:
If you want to put your child in a sport to see whether he/she appeals to it, then starting too early can be unproductive.
The child has to be old enough to understand and like the sport. But having said that, if a child shows interest in a particular sport but is too young to play, discouraging it is not the right thing to do. Taking your child to a controlled environment to introduce the basics to him is the right way to go.
Sports loads the joints and muscles of the child. Putting him/her too early in a sport can be stressful for the child.
For instance, if a child is interested in basketball, he/she should start playing at around 10 to 11 years. But even if he starts at 15 or 16 years, there is nothing wrong.
On the other hand, if an adult wants to start playing sports to be fit and in shape, they can pick it up whenever.
There are people as old as 50 who like to try their hand at tennis, badminton or even table tennis. There is nothing wrong with this at all.
2) For professional/career purposes:
If your child is sure that he/ she wants to grow up to be an athlete, boxer or even tennis player, then enrolling him or her in the sport at the right age is crucial.
Sports like swimming, skating, something that involves basic body mechanism can be started at an earlier age for instance between 3-5years but contact sports like football or hockey should be started a bit later as with age a child’s coronation and balance increases.
Organized sports like tennis and badminton should be started at around 7-9 years as earlier than that the child doesn’t really have the strength to hit the ball or shuttlecock and his/her hand-eye coordination is not that well developed. They also do not really comprehend the rules at a very early age which can lead to frustration.
The reason why a child should not start too late to play the sport if he/she wants to take it up is that when the child is young and their memory is still is developing, making them practice the right habits is much easier.
For instance, if your child wants to play badminton professionally, teaching him/her the right footwork, grip and movement are way easier at a younger age as they tend to make it their habit as they grow old which will benefit them.
If an adult wants to take up a sport at an older age than recommended then it is not discouraged but it has its disadvantages.
As said earlier, the habits that an adult has formed over the years of playing or moving incorrectly stick and breaking those habits become extremely challenging. But this by no means is a reason for adults to not consider taking up a sport professionally.
The other big disadvantage is that an adult has to catch up on quite a few years of practice and training that his/ her competition has. This can be quite a task.
But with a never say never attitude anything is possible. There is no substitute for hard work and it is possible to achieve your target if you put in efforts.
Watch this to have a better understanding:
Conclusion: As they say, earlier the better. But too early can be counter-productive too.
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