Sports have been a huge part of my life for as long as I can remember. Even when I was too young to play, I had my two older siblings who participated in a myriad of sports. My early childhood memories consist of countless weekends where I’d cheer on my family at their practices, games, and tournaments. I never tired of the sheer excitement of the game, so it’s no wonder I followed right in their footsteps.
Watching my older siblings try so many different kinds of sports gave me that same desire to explore. Once I was old enough to finally play, I jumped right into this endeavor – it became my mission to find the sport for me, my passion. Each day of the week was dedicated to a different sport. Monday was soccer practice, Tuesday was basketball, Wednesday was dance class, and weekends were busy with field hockey and softball. And when summer came around, I’d try new types of activities like swimming, tennis, and golf. I bounced around trying new sports with such endless excitement, playing physical games at any chance I got, be it flag football at family barbeques or dodgeball in P.E. class. Eager to learn anywhere in any context, I embraced all the little opportunities I got to play in an organized environment.
The point of all this is that I was lucky. I had people who inspired me to try new sports and a community who were invested in my success and happiness. I was able to have such a fulfilling, exciting journey as a budding athlete who had no idea what sport to specialize in. Without it, I don’t think I would be where I am today, pursuing field hockey as my passion.
I know not everyone has older siblings to help navigate the world of sports out there, and certainly not everyone can afford to have the freedom to explore it. For a lot of families, it’s hard to invest all that money into equipment and fees if they don’t know their child will like it, let alone stick with it. But there are ways, I promise you. These days, many communities offer programs for a free first class or an entry level youth “tryout” day. I know some youth or club teams offer a free trial day where kids can come out and try the sport. I’ve had numerous parents reach out to me if they could borrow equipment for their child who is new to field hockey, and I always make sure to bring old sticks to practice, just in case. So ask teachers, coaches, and parents, and join facebook groups within your community – there is help available to you.
And one last (and best) resource you can use is Hiveclass. A service like Hiveclass was not available while I was growing up. It’s the perfect way for someone who wants to get involved and active but may not either have the sport available to them in the area or the funds to try. And the best part? It’s all available for you at the click of a button, right at your fingertips. You can learn from some of the best coaches in their profession, all without leaving your house. Kids can learn the basics to any sport, so that one day when they try out for a team, they’d be one step ahead with Hiveclass to guide them.
With all these new possibilities for kids to explore sports, my advice is… let them! Let your child get involved with as many sports as possible. Let them make their own opinions. Let them fail, succeed, try again, show up, and give it their all because they will learn so much more than the rules of the game.