Middle school is full of changes
for preteens. While in middle school your child will be prepared for the challenges and opportunities of high school. One way to help your child develop in middle school is to allow him or her to participate on a middle school sports team. Below is what you should know about sports during the middle school years.
Middle School and Sports
If your tween is interested in joining a club or organization in middle school, you might want to encourage him to consider trying out for a middle school sports team. Being on an athletic team in middle school can be beneficial to your child. For starters, he or she will learn a great deal about discipline and responsibility -- by attending scheduled practices, games and participating in drills. But being on a team can also help your child make new friends and develop his social circle.
But there are other reasons to consider trying out for a sports team. Being on a team can help your child stay in shape, and physical exercise can also help stressed out tweens deal with stress, and overcome some of the other challenges that middle school presents.
If your child hopes to play on a high school sports team, trying out for a middle school team can help. Many high school athletes improve their sport and skills during the middle school years, and some high schools and middle schools actually share coaches, will help your child's visibility should she decide to try out for a team in high school.
If your child is considering joining a middle school sports team, consider the information below.
Tryouts: It's possible that your tween will have to tryout for a team. Tryouts can be nerve racking, and if your child doesn't make the team it could be a bit of disappointment. Help your tween make the most of tryouts by helping him prepare ahead of time. Practice at home, or consider having an older sibling or neighbor give your child a few pointers. Be sure you encourage your tween, but also prepare him for the possibility that he won't make the team the first time around. If he doesn't make the team, remind him that he can try again next year, or help him find another activity to join.
Intramural Sports: Some middle schools don't have the budgets for competitive teams, so instead they may offer intramural teams, or teams that just play for fun and fitness. These teams can also be helpful to your developing child, and should be encouraged if there's an interest. If your middle school doesn't offer recreational teams, contact your local parks and recreation department or your local YMCA.
What Sports are Offered in Middle School?: Middle school sport departments will vary from region to region, county to county and sometimes even school to school. Budgets will partially determine what sports will be offered, as will geography. In some regions, a middle school might have a ski team, in others, a sailing team. A sample middle school sports schedule is below.
Fall: Boys Football, Boys Soccer, Girls Soccer, Cheerleading
Winter I: Boys Basketball, Girls Basketball
Winter II: Boys Wrestling, Girls Volleyball
Spring: Boys Basketball, Boys Track, Girls Field Hockey, Girls Softball, Girls Track
What Costs are Involved?: Playing on a school team may or may not be expensive. Usually, uniforms are provided by the school, but you may have to provide cleats, or other necessities. If your child's team attends a sports camp or clinic, there may be an admission charge that you'll have to cover. Try to find out what expenses parents are responsible for at the beginning of the season -- so you're well prepared.