I'm not really sure how young is too young to allow that choice or when we should encourage them to try. I guess you could say Caleb - my first born of three - is currently my guinea pig. Ever since we signed up up for soccer last spring, he never really seemed into it. He played two seasons, and a couple weeks ago when I said it was time to start practices again for soccer, he was less than thrilled. I told the coach we'd be sitting this season out.
He did basketball with our church's Upward program. I felt much better about this experience because he really seemed to enjoy it, and watching him was a hoot! When I've asked him since the end of the season if he liked it and if he'd want to play again, he nods his head, but doesn't give me much enthusiasm. So I'm not really sure what direction we'll go with that.
And then came another idea, courtesy of my husband. Since we're still not sure if Caleb will be sold out for team sports, we thought we'd go another direction. Josh asked Caleb if he'd like to try Taekwondo. He was elated! His face lit up, and he couldn't wait to start. He kept counting down by looking at the calendar and remembering the day his first practice would be.
That was the reaction I was hoping for when it came to something he would be a part of.
Caleb with his instructor during the first night of class. He'll receive his uniform at his next practice.
My cousin, Chris, is very athletic and loves all kinds of sports. But I remember his younger days as he worked his way through the ranks as a Karate student. He began at age seven, and he achieved all of his belts, right on through to black! He was so sweet to text me the other day:
"That is so cool! I was kind of the same way believe it or not [referring to not being interested in other sports at Caleb's age]. I didn't become legitimately interested in team sports until 5th grade. If he ends up liking it enough to go to tournaments, I'd love to help him bring home some hardware. Ha! That's when it gets really fun. You meet a ton of people and your confidence goes through the roof. It helps form great habits, respect, and drive. Can you tell I liked it? :)"As a seven-year-old, Karate was Chris's niche for some reason.
I hope perhaps Taekwondo is Caleb's.
I love seeing little kids play team sports. My other children may love them! And perhaps Caleb will become more interested as he grows. But for now, I don't feel like I should make him do something when he's not at all interested. He's only six. If he doesn't play t-ball or soccer this year, it probably won't ruin his chances for the NCAA. :)