Team sports help teach sportsmanship, fair play, and relying on others for success. But along with the good aspects of youth sports comes the potential for sports injuries. Parents who get their smaller children involved in youth sports want their children to benefit from the experience and not have to endure sports injuries, but it can happen. It is important for kids and their parents to understand the rules and regulations of the league they play in and follow those rules to keep everyone safe.
The Television Factor
Little children act out what they see on television, and that includes sports. At this young age, it is extremely important to keep a young child focused on the rules and regulations of their league and not getting wrapped up in looking like their favorite sports star.
The television factor is one of the most difficult aspects of youth sports for parents and coaches to have to deal with. It is extremely difficult to get a child to understand their own physical limitations and how those limitations prevent them from being able to slam dunk a basketball or hit a baseball over the center field fence.
A teenager can comprehend the need for safety equipment, but little ones often need a lot of help in understanding why equipment is so important. Parents and coaches need to constantly remind small athletes that wearing equipment while playing sports allows them to play with a diminished fear of injury. The equipment prevents basic parts of a sport such as a baseball hit hard into a player's hand or a football player taking a clean tackle from becoming injuries.
One of the more unfortunate parts of equipment training is that the only way smaller children can understand the importance of equipment is to get injured without wearing it. Since that is not an option, coaches need to become proficient in equipment training and parents need to back up the training the coaches offer.
Limit Contact at Young Ages
Many states have laws preventing smaller children from joining contact sports leagues until they are a bit older, but parents ultimately are the ones who make that decision. For example, if you do not want your child to start getting involved in contact sports until they are 10 years old, then you should exercise that right to protect your child.
When you choose a contact sports league for your little one, be sure you choose a league known for its limited contact policy and its ability to teach children how to safely play the game. Many leagues are having their coaches certified by national organizations that are designed to teach smaller children the safest ways to play each sport. You should look into those certifications and see if the league you are looking at offers that kind of training.
Parents Must Do Their Research
Pop Warner is one of the oldest youth football organizations in the country. For years, the coaches in the Pop Warner program were commended for their excellent work in teaching children the safest ways to play the game of football. But in 2016, two parents from California filed a class action lawsuit against Pop Warner alleging that the league was not doing its job in limiting contact for younger players.
As parents, it is your job to do research on a contact sports league before you choose to enroll your young child. The laws and rules regarding many contact sports have changed over the years and you want your child to be involved in a league that stays updated on proper safety techniques and does not allow dangerous contact for your child.
Parents who want their young children to play contact sports must understand that there is a tremendous responsibility to keep their children safe. While the leagues are expected to have certified and experienced coaches, parents also need to be involved in the sports activities of their smaller children to make sure their children stay safe.
Laurence Banville. Esq is the managing partner and face of Banville Law. Laurence is licensed to practice law in the state of New York. Originally from Ireland, Banville moved to the United States of America where he worked at law firms, refining his litigation and brief writing crafts. He is also the recipient of the Irish Legal 100 and the Top 40 Under 40 awards.