Age should be the determining factor in what Physical activity should a child choose
Cyprus International University (CIU) School of Physical Education and Sports (SPES) Director Prof. Dr. Ali Emre Erol gave information about how children who are at the age of getting involved in sports should start such activities and also the specifics of this process. He also drew attention to the importance of sports activities for children.
Erol stated that children's readiness for sports means they have the physical, mental and social skills to meet the demands of sports. He also noted that general rules help in choosing a sport activity according to age, but it is also important to remember that children develop differently.
Prof. Dr. Erol said that children between the ages of 2 and 5 do not have the basic motor skills necessary especially for team sports, as their “balance and attention spans are limited. Their vision and ability to track moving objects is not yet fully matured."
Noting that sports activities focusing on basic skills such as running, swimming, rolling, throwing and catching are more suitable for children in this age range, Erol also stated that these skills can be developed through active play.
Erol indicated that children between the ages of 2 and 5 like to copycat, and that instructions given during activities should be limited and competition should be avoided.
Dr. Erol explained that basic motor skills are formed for simple organized sports in children aged 6 to 9, and that, "They may still lack the hand-eye coordination required to perform complex motor skills, and they may not yet be ready to understand concepts such as teamwork and game strategies."
Prof. Dr. Erol noted that sports such as running, swimming, baseball, tennis, gymnastics, martial arts and skiing are beneficial for this age group. Erol said, “Sports that require complex visual and motor skills, quick decision making or detailed strategies or teamwork (football, basketball, hockey, volleyball) are not very suitable.”
Erol stated that children between the ages of 10 and 12 are generally ready for complex sports, and reiterated that sports activities at this level should focus on skills development, entertainment and participation, and not on competition. Pointing out that some children in this age group may be starting puberty, he concluded by saying “During this period, there may be physical differences between children, especially boys in the same age group. Children who start puberty earlier will be temporarily taller, heavier and stronger."
News Date: May 6, 2022