What works for emotional sport growth, emerging in the youth sports?

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Answered by: Karen, An Expert in the Emotional and Physical Growth Category
My son likes sports, I believe he thrives in the togetherness more than the competition, he's eight years old. He's the kid out on the field who is socializing before he's concentrating on playing. Is this good for his emotional sport growth? I wonder if he wants so much socialization in sports because he is so wound up from school and its demands. I put my mommy thinking cap on and wonder if I should have a talk with him about thinking about the game right when he gets on the field and leave the socialization for later. I do notice once he gets going he is a good solid competitor. No fancy stuff, no trouble making on the field, just playing a good clean game. I believe that is what sports are supposed to be, getting out there, working with your teammates, working on your own form, getting the rules down, learning the other players strengths and weaknesses and winning and losing. Or is he too young to really understand the competition of it all? When should true competition kick in? We are not big sports watchers at home on the TV, a good football, baseball or basketball game might catch our attention, but not something we live and breath at home. My son has played and continues to play lacrosse, soccer, basketball, sailing and anything to do with something on wheels. He loves his electric ATV, his electric dirt bike and so much more on wheels. Is all this helping in his emotional growth or is he over sported? Should I make him a one sport kid or stick with multiple sports? I think sooner or later he needs to concentrate on no more than two sports. I wonder if he'll develop the competition sooner than later when he decides what sport(s) he really wants to pursue. I think about how I should talk to him about the actual competition and his own emotional sport growth. What is important to him at his age? What does he need to work on? What does he want to give up on? Or is it give up or is it really move on to something that interests and will allow him to grow emotionally and physically in youth sports? I think he needs sports for many reasons, mostly for the emotional and physical growth. I like the idea he's getting a diverse look at sports. The piece I haven't worked on with him enough is how to get him to concentrate on his ability as a player, a part of a team and his own emotional growth around working in a group. How much do I really need to help him with this piece, doesn't this come with experience and age? What if I didn't expose him to sports, would that work for him? It works for some children and they turn out fine? I think for now I should be working on getting him to practices, games and supporting and watching his games. He knows when he has a question or idea about the sports he can come to me. Grow on, Play on!

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