Ask any successful athlete their secret for a successful career, they will most probably answer they started at a young age.
An early head start allows athletes to hone their craft, instill discipline, and live a fit and active lifestyle.
Your kid may not show a keen interest in sports just yet. But with your encouragement and support, chances are they’ll show a positive attitude toward that endeavor.
What is the best age to start training your kid? We asked three experts and listed down their answers.
Turns out that, while it’s natural for your cute tots to show their preferences for sports and activities early on, it is their physical and emotional preparedness that will keep them going.
Dr. Sheila Chua, clinical psychologist, Makati
Parents must assess how emotionally and physically ready their kids are. Otherwise, it will be too frustrating for everyone and might even turn off the kids to the sport.
The right age to enroll your kids in regular activities would be seven years old. By that time, their bodies are fully formed, and their hand-eye coordination is now better. They’re able to perform better, and they already know what activity they want [to participate in]. It is also around this age that kids develop the motor skills, attention span, and set of emotional disciplines needed for sports.
Sports for kids below six should be more about having fun and learning skills, and getting them to be active, and not about competition.
Kirk Chan, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu instructor, Fight Factory, San Juan
The right age for enrollment in martial arts is usually four to five years old—five years old ideally. If they start any younger than five, they might not retain anything taught to them that well yet
The youngest I’ve trained was aged six, but it’s ages eight to ten who can pick up and apply the training well. Usually with five to six-year-old kids, it’s mostly games.
Mark Hormillosa, football coach, Luna Elementary School, Isabela
For me, the recommended age is six, at Grade One. We were teaching in Luna Elementary School and our players were around the ages four to six, and nine to eleven years old. The younger kids liked to play football, but their bodies weren’t ready for the challenges of the sport yet.
That’s why, while they’re still young, they should be trained well. When we conducted try-outs, there were a lot of kids with the potential to play football, and the youngest were in grade one, aged six. This is the ideal age to start. So when they’re seven or eight, they can already join in their elementary teams.
I recommend kids at age six to start training in schools like summer clinics, until they’re fit enough to join a football team. There’s no height requirement in football. The game is based on how fast they can run, and if they have enough skills and discipline to play.