What are the best sports for kids under 15? That’s a loaded question. Are we talking about boys or girls? And does “best” mean most economical? Safest? Or most challenging? There are lots of different answers. First, let’s clarify the question.

The benefits of being active

Physical activity of any kind benefits kids. Right now, the United States is dealing with a serious obesity problem, especially in children. Raising kids to enjoy exercise as a daily activity is important.

Doctors recommend 1-2 hours of such activity every day. This can set a foundation for health and well-being that hopefully lasts a lifetime.

The good news? Kids have the natural urge and energy to play. Signing them up for sports through extra-curricular activities or after-school programs is a great way for them to exercise and have fun at the same time.

There are many reasons to get your kids active, click here to read more now.

Sports are for both boys and girls

There are no limits to what girls can do. As a result, female participation in sports continues to grow. Regardless of gender, athletes like Simone Biles and Serena Williams are two of the best athletes in the world. Parents can, and should, explore a variety to introduce to their little girls.

Sports don’t have to be on anyone’s “best of” list to be great.

Less popular sports, like pickleball or jazz dancing, may resonate with your kids. Parents should encourage any interest in physical activity. If your boys pick a sport popular with girls, such as cheerleading or volleyball, go with it. The same is true for girls who pick martial arts or football. 

Interest in any sport provides positive mental, physical, and social development.

Keep the following factors in mind when choosing for your kids

Age and personality

When children are younger, they are more interested in structured play rather than structured sports. They’re busy developing gross and fine motor skills. As they get older, they will give you clues as to the organized games they’d like to play. Let them lead the way.

Cost

The price of involvement in certain sports often depends on where you live and what’s available year-round or seasonally. For example, skiing is easier (and cheaper) if you live in Colorado rather than Florida.

Safety

Studies come out all the time, helping parents make safer choices for their kids. Manufacturers use these guidelines when making protective equipment. Click here to read more of the latest updates.

Team or individual sports

Every child is different. For instance, some benefit from one-on-one attention. Those kids enjoy more individual sports like tennis or running. Other children enjoy the camaraderie of team sports and lean more towards basketball or soccer.

Understand that as children grow, their brains grow too. A kid that might start out swimming in elementary school might yearn for volleyball in high school. Again, parents would do well to encourage their children. As long as they’re staying active and having fun.

10 Most Popular Individual Sports 

  • Track and field
  • Tennis
  • BMX Racing
  • Rock climbing
  • Gymnastics
  • Contemporary Dance
  • Ballet
  • Golf
  • Swimming 
  • Skiing

10 Most Popular Team Sports 

  • Soccer
  • Softball
  • Basketball
  • Volleyball
  • Track and Field 
  • Football
  • Beach Volleyball
  • Lacrosse
  • Field Hockey
  • Baseball

Easier sports to start

No sport or game is easy. They all require some skill, determination and discipline.

Sports like tennis or boxing can be challenging from the beginning. This is due to specific skills required before they step into the ring or onto a court. Kids also need an advanced understanding of the body to be successful.

Other sports are more comfortable to start because they don’t require advanced athleticism. The rules aren’t complex either. Kids can get out there and basically start right away, getting better as they go along. Such sports include:

  • Basketball
  • Softball
  • Baseball
  • Football
  • Soccer
  • Running

What are less-expensive sports?

The most popular sport in the world is soccer. Part of the reason might be that soccer is less expensive for beginners. It’s also fairly easy for kids to learn. Other inexpensive sports include:

  • Basketball  
  • Track and field  
  • Swimming  

What’s best for a child’s body and overall health?

Low-impact sports are easiest on growing bones and joints. They don’t lead to as many injuries as other sports. They also don’t take as much of a toll as athletes get older. There are plenty of scholarship opportunities when players are ready to look at sports in college. Here are some ideas:

  • Swimming
  • Golf
  • Track and Field
  • Dance
  • Tennis
  • Cycling
  • Rowing

While not a traditional sport, yoga is another low-impact activity that many athletes use to cross-train and build up stronger muscles.

Which athletes are the fittest?

Young athletes who regularly boost their cardio during workouts tend to lower their stress and sleep better at night. They also don’t weigh as much and, with that lower weight, comes fewer health problems. As a result, the following tend to produce the fittest participants:

  • Running
  • Triathlon
  • Boxing

Top 10 Overall Sports for Girls

According to Healthy Sport Index, these are:

  • Basketball
  • Cheerleading
  • Cross country
  • Lacrosse
  • Soccer
  • Softball
  • Swimming
  • Tennis
  • Track and field
  • Volleyball

Top 10 Overall Sports for Boys

Again, from Healthy Sport Index:

  • Baseball
  • Basketball
  • Cross country
  • Football
  • Lacrosse
  • Soccer
  • Swimming
  • Tennis
  • Track and field
  • Wrestling

There are a lot of factors to consider and no list is exhaustive. Parents must take into account that their children are unique. They will grow and change as they get older. 

Through it all, the importance of sports in a child’s life is undeniable. As more demands are placed on a child’s body, please make sure they get plenty of rest. They should also eat right and enjoy a support system to continue reaping the rewards of an active life.


0 Comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *