House leagues are a wonderful way to learn about a sport, hone skills and get active. But if your child wants to take their work to the next level, a switch to competitive leagues could be the way to go. When your child is involved in various activities- from hockey to tennis to dance- there comes a time when you start thinking, should we get into competitive?
How do you know when its time to switch to a competitive league?
Age– Are they ready for competitive? Consider their age, maturity level and if they can handle stricter rules and guidelines. Experts say around 8 years old is when children can start to handle competitive sports; but this varies for every child. There is also a higher stress level with competitive sports they should be prepared for.
Skill level– Be honest about the skill level and if competitive leagues are right for your child at this time. If they are really interested in taking their game to the next level, but the skills aren’t there yet, consider outside training or one on one lessons. (Use Sportaga to see what’s available in your chosen sport!)
The parents are ready for travel– Competitive sports are a commitment for the player as well as their family. There are a number of extra costs; not only the activity themselves but travel with gas, hotels, and gear needing to be a specific level. It’s a commitment the whole family takes on.
Does your child want to play?
This should drive almost all your choices when it comes to activities. Is your child enjoying it? Do they want to compete and be in that type of environment? Or are they happy staying with house league fun?
Overall this decision needs to be a family one, considering your child’s feelings first. During try outs remember to be positive and supportive no matter what the outcome is. Find advice for success here.