With Dubai’s busy work schedules and school curriculums, getting active and playing can be difficult for those living in Dubai. Sports science-based research based on long term athletic development and late specialization shows that in order to maximize potential, children should play at least 3 sports between the ages of 3-11 to maximise their sporting potential.
First, we will look at the research that shows why this is the case. We will then give some tips on how you can get your child involved in multiple activities here in Dubai!
A study by Ohio State University also supports the concept of long term athlete development. They found that 42/47 of their high school football recruits were involved in more than one sport in high school. As opposed to just 5 who played only football in high school.
There are many examples of the concept of Long Term Athletic Development in professional sports. One example of such an athlete who later specialised in one sport successfully is Jordan Speith.
The former world number 1 golfer has won numerous majors before the age of 30 and part of recent US Ryder Cup team victories. Speith attributes a large part of his success to the fact that he was involved in other sports such as baseball and basketball as a youngster. This helped him to become a well-rounded athlete and natural competitor. This has certainly paid dividends out on the PGA Tour with a reported net worth of $100 million dollars!
That said whether or not your child has aspirations of being an elite athlete or just a social sports player it is highly recommended that they get a broad range of sporting experience as a youngster. The main key is maximising your child’s potential so that they can become the best sportsperson that they can be and set up a healthy lifestyle in the future- being a sporting natural rather than only a narrow interest in one sport helps to do this and makes it so much easier to get into new sports in later life.
What You Should Do As A Parent
Its established that children should play at least 3 sports to maximise their potential, let’s look at how this can be achieved in the context of Dubai. With regards to giving your children the chance to play multiple sports, the first place to look is at academies. Looking around the market the average price for sports coaching is between AED75-100 per hour. This over the course of a year amounts to over 8000 dirhams. This on top of school fees is a large cost for a lot of families.
Don’t worry though if you need cheaper ways to get your children involved in multiple sports that are out there. Kids DXB’s award-winning Kidster program is a great example of this. The program offers coaching for 8 sports and better still is unlimited access meaning that your child can attend as many classes as they wish on a Friday and Saturday. You can start Kidster by signing up for a 30 day trial period which gives you chance to experience yourself.
The program director Marcus giving you an idea of how the concept of long termdevelopment is built into Kidster program.
Taking sports coaching is a great option for your child. The effects of this will be amplified if you can integrate sports into your family life. Gathering a group of family or friends together is a great way to get active and have fun. If you are looking for spaces to play badminton or team sports like football, Playo offers a variety of locations. There are playo venues all over town that offers a great way to play sports all at affordable prices.
As a professional myself, I can say for sure that amount of time spent playing often correlates to being successful. The well documented 10,000-hour rule popularized by Malcolm Glawell in his book Outliers suggests in order to achieve excellence in any discipline you need to dedicate a significant amount of time to it. That considered getting involved in a program like Kidster, organizing sports meetups with friends or family or just taking a bat and ball along the beach. These will all add up to helping your child to become a well-rounded athlete and live a healthy lifestyle.
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