Not every child is cut out for the soccer or baseball team. While competitive sports offer a lot to many children, some tweens may actually find that their niche exists in the non-competitive arena. Non-competitive sports are gaining in popularity, and for several reasons. They offer preteens the chance to learn a new skill in an environment that promotes growth and challenge, more than competition. In addition, non-competitive sports give tweens the chance to rest their growing bodies from the demands of some competitive sports.
Finding an outlet for your tween's energy is important, even if she's not interested in playing on a team. Tweens are intensely interested in learning new skills and hobbies, and use them as a way to express themselves and form their own identities.
If your tween backs down from competition, organized team sports, or just needs a temporary break from competition, consider introducing him to a non-competitive alternative. If you're worried that your son or daughter won't take away as much from a non-competitive sport as from football, basketball, or baseball, take a breath. Experts say as long as your child has your full support and interest, he'll come out a winner. In addition, non-competitive sports do offer competition, in some form.
Rather than competing against a team or another player, your tween is really in competition with himself, to improve his score, his time, or improve his abilities. For example, the sport of kayaking emphasizes not speed, but stroking, following safety guidelines, and enjoying the outdoors.
There's another advantage to non-competitive sports, say child advocates. They often eliminate the ugliness that takes place on the playing field. Who hasn't heard the story about the ill tempered coach, or the foul-mouthed parent who loses it in front of everybody? Also, non-competitive sports or activities give your tween the luxury of learning or improving his skill in his own time.
Parents can find non-competitive sporting options in a number of places. The first place to call is your local department of parks and recreation, followed by area YMCAs, YWCAs, and after school clubs or groups.
Non-Competitive Sports to Consider
- Recreational Dance