Sports Training for Babies, Why Not?

Julie Ryan Evans
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Baby with footballWant your child to be a sports superstar? You better get him started soon because the competition is going to be fierce. According to a recent article in The New York Times, parents are starting sports training for their children pretty much as soon as they come out of the womb.

One fitness coach told the paper: “With the babies in our family, I start working them out in the hospital.”

OK, that's a little ridiculous, but for the rest of the strategies they listed, like exercise videos for 6-month-olds and gym classes for babies, what's the harm really?

Sports for the most part are healthy activities that help improve fitness and teach cooperation and dedication, so why not start instilling those qualities young? How is it much different than reading to them from day one?

And if they get really good while they're at it, well then that's a bonus.

I mean, just look at Tiger Woods ... OK, bad example, but ...

While children should be children, there's also no reason they shouldn't be encouraged to push themselves and work hard at things.

My friend's 2-year-old recently ran a mile with her. A mile!

And how wonderful is that, because she's setting an example by her own amazing running and encouraging him to love exercise from a young age. And he had fun doing it.

I'd rather have my kid do that than sit around watching Barney (which she may or may not do on occasion).

I'm pretty sure my father started working with my brothers on sports before they even left the womb, and guess what -- they both got scholarships to play ball in college.

Not everyone will, but why not try?

Certainly there are parents who push too hard, demand too much, and make a child feel like her worth is based on her performance, but those same parents are going to do that no matter what -- whether in school or personal behavior or whatever.

So it's not the DVDs or the classes or the T-ball World Series for tots that are the problems any more than crayons and Play-Doh could be. If you have the money and time to do these things with your child, then why not?

No, they might not always like it, but my daughter doesn't like peas either. Still, they're good for her, and I know eventually if I keep exposing her to them, she probably will.

Now whether all this training is actually going to result in your child being an excellent athlete later is far from a given. But it can't -- crazy parents aside -- hurt either.

What do you think of sports training for babies?

 

Image via Kyle and Kelly Adams/Flickr

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