As of today, your child can play a variety of sports based on their liking and preference. With multiple camps, clinics, trainers, community leagues and travel teams, your child can act on any opportunity that is of their interest.

However, as the horizon broadens, so do your options! You might be wondering if your child should play competitive or recreational youth sports. Read on to know more about the differences between them and based on this, you will be able to decide it better by yourself:

Recreational Youth Sports

  • Almost no tryouts involved. If there is space in the team roster, the player can play.
  • The teams are balanced based on the skills.
  • In most cases, there is a one-time registration fee and the competitiveness is less.
  • As most of the players are of the same age group, the social interaction is better.
  • Fundamental skills of the players are developed at a better level.
  • The travel required is less as most of the games are carried out at the same location.
  • The coaches are generally parent volunteers.
  • The sports are offered by a recreation center in most cases.
  • As the number of players is more in recreational sports, an extreme level of commitment is not expected from the players.
  • The games played are generally seasonal, like baseball during spring.
  • The intent for playing game is fun and is done at a local community level.

Competitive Youth Sports

  • The level of commitment is high and more time is to be dedicated.
  • Player categorizations are based on tryouts and player skills.
  • It is tougher to be a part of the team and continue playing in it.
  • Most of the tournaments are carried out in a different area or city and are held on weekends.
  • The coaches are highly experienced and skilled and not volunteers.
  • The fees involved and other costs such as travel, food etc. are higher
  • Sports are played all-round the year,

Based on the above mentioned factors, you will have to decide what is best for your child. Listed below are some of the factors that you might have to consider before deciding on which type of sport your child should play:

  • The club fees and travel expenses are higher for competitive sports. Will you be able to bear the costs without causing any inconvenience or trouble to your family in the long run?
  • If the games are out of the town, will you be able to organize for the travel of a child?
  • Will you be able to dedicate your weekends for your child and will everybody be okay with it?
  • Will your child be able to manage competitive sports along with academics and other extra-curricular sports?

There is no proper yes or no for the questions. The decision is yours to make and you will have to decide based on several factors and after talking about it with your family. What might suit well for one kid might not be suitable for the other.

Ultimately, you will have to decide what is best for your kid and family so that the kid finds sports to be interesting. This will help your kid to focus on sports and it will make them healthy and active in the long run!


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