Why Youth Sports Are Vital

Somedays I cannot believe how busy we are around here. Between scouts, choir, soccer, birthday parties, piano lessons, family commitments and homework I feel like half of the time I am just diving my kids around from place to place. I know this isn’t news to any suburban parent. I was warned about this. The thing is how do you decide what to sign up for and what not to sign up for?

Not over scheduling my children but still making sure they end up as well rounded individuals is a constant challenge. As of second grade they both love scouts but I am not requiring them to do it. Scouts are a bonus. The kids are obviously responsible for homework but there are only two things I require – one instrument and one sport. I will tell you why.

The instrument is important for me. As a musician I think that learning how to read music is a massive asset and the younger you learn the easier it is. Right now I am pretty much making my kids take piano lessons. Piano is the easiest and best way to learn how to read music and once they get the hang of it they can switch to guitar or drums or the ukelele, I don’t care, but I want them to become fluent in music.

Playing a sport is almost more important to me. Team sports are ideal as they offer exercise and amazing lessons about teamwork and sportsmanship. I think that kids get a lot of good life lessons by being on a team. There is something about camaraderie that is special. You know what I am talking about if you have ever been on a team that went to a championship game. Working together with other kids for a common goal and figuring out how to make all of the personalities work and playing a position with specific responsibilities – these are skills you need in real life. Ask anyone who works in an office.

Plus you can’t beat the exercise.

My kids had a tough time with baseball. They were young and growing so fast that coordination was a real problem. How can you hit a baseball with a bat when you don’t even know where your own arms are? They just didn’t enjoy it. This year they chose to switch over to soccer in the spring and the difference is amazing. They are having fun. They are learning new things. They don’t even realize that they are getting tons of cardio.

I told you before that I am working with P&G on their Thank You, Mom campaign, and one of the reasons that I was so eager to work with them was their involvement with and support of youth sports. Procter & Gamble is trying to raise $5 million to improve club sports for kids around the country. The P&G|Team USA Youth Sports Fund will benefit youth sports organizations such as Make a Splash, YMCA and Boys & Girls Clubs of America.

The fund is important because it gives more children access to sports. You guys can help by liking the “Thank You, Mom” page on Facebook. P&G will donate $1 for every like to the P&G|Team USA Sports Fund up to $100,000. I say that is a pretty good way to thank the moms out there that need a little help.

My kids are lucky. We can afford to sign them up for soccer and tennis and swim team (oh yeah, tennis and swim team season is almost upon us) but I know that a lot of people aren’t as fortunate as we are. This is an easy way to help moms and kids without spending a dime. Please like the page if you get a chance. It is a great cause.

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Disclaimer: I am being compensated for my work with Proctor & Gamble but these words and these stories are my own.


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  1. I agree, sports and music are vital for raising well-rounded kids. I won’t force my kid to do either, however, because if they get a distaste for it early on because they “had to” they may never come back to it later in life. That said, we still provide opportunities for them to participate in things. Right now it’s gymnastics and baseball. And swim lessons. And Scouts. No music lessons. That will change soon.

    We did soccer, dance and Aikido and… something else I’m forgetting. You’re lucky (only in this instance for coordination purposes) you have two in the same grade/age for activities. It’s hard enough right now with my brood, and when they get older, and the youngest starts doing activities, I don’t know what I’m going to do.

  2. My first grade son is doing FOUR sports, plus piano, this spring. He chose everything but piano but loves all of them like crazy. I don’t have to remind him to practice piano most days so even that is fun for him. He came back from riding last week asking to go out to the barn more often. (Um, NO!! That’s way too slippery a slope and we do not need to own a horse, thank you very much.) His little sister is doing ballet and soccer. She will be old enough for scouts in the fall. As long as school isn’t suffering and they continue to have fun, I’ll keep up my end as chauffeur in chief.

    Thanks for sharing this great cause. And thanks P&G.

  3. I totally agree. I’ve been planning sports/music since she was born.

  4. We really need to get on the music thing. My mom is a piano teacher, but unfortunately we don’t live close enough for the Beaner to take lessons from her. He did, however, try out for the boys choir, so that’s something. Like the Goon Squad, he had trouble with baseball early on, and I think that experience ruined the sport for him. He likes soccer, though, and I’m trying to get him to learn to skate so he can play hockey if he wants.

  5. I kind of hate that I agree with you on this, because I truly hate watching sports. Maybe it will be different when I’m watching my kids play, but I can’t stand watching professional sports.

  6. I believe in youth sports as a great way for kids to build character–and parents too! As a sports parent, you might enjoy my website!

  7. I never, ever envisioned myself as being a “soccer mom.” Until my oldest fell in love with the sport when he was six. His brother followed, as did track and basketball. We did several years on competitive travel teams and it was a lot of work and expense, but through it all I also fell in love with the soccer and with what youth athletics did for my kids and their peers. I’m a believer now. Love this post!

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