When it comes to choosing a sport your child should play, a good place to start is finding a sport that is age-appropriate for your kids. While there are no rules to choosing a sport, often sports that suit a toddler won’t always suit a teenager and vice versa.
The most important thing is that kids have fun. Kids just want to have fun, and their reason to continue playing team sports will be a direct result of how much fun they have.
As parents, you want your kids to be successful while improving their abilities too. However, first and foremost your kid must be having fun.
So which sport is best for my child’s age group?
Toddlers Aged 2 – 5
Toddlers are still developing their movement skills and often struggle keeping their feet and body moving in the same direction.
Toddlers who participate in organised sports don’t typically gain any long term advantage regarding future sports performance, so don’t be in a rush to push them into sports you want them to play.
Sports such as running, dancing and swimming can be a great starting point but if they’re interested in ice skating, soccer or football, then don’t be afraid to let them have a go.
Kids Aged 6 – 9
As a child gets older they gain better vision, hand eye coordination and can concentrate for longer periods of time. Their muscles also develop allowing them to have the strength they need for more physical sports such as cricket and gymnastics.
Sports such as football, soccer, gymnastics, baseball, netball, swimming and martial arts are all great choices for kids of this age group.
Kids Aged 10+
From the age of 10 upwards, kids are developing into their teenage years. Kids at this age are ready to take on more complex skill sports, and it’s often the age they start taking their chosen sport more seriously.
At this age, your child might also be involved with numerous sports such as cricket in the summer and football in the winter. It’s important to let them grow and if they wish, they can naturally gravitate towards their favourite sport or a sport where they show a natural preference.
Depending on how seriously they’d like to take their sport into their adult years will determine whether they should specialise or play what they enjoy.
The most common sports for this age group include cricket, netball, hockey, swimming, surfing, football and soccer.
So what are the most popular sports for Aussie kids?
Top Sports For Australian Kids
So what are the most popular sports for kids in Australia? Let’s find out.
Cricket is an iconic Australian summer sport. Many kids grow up with barbeques and backyard cricket competitions and it’s part of a lifestyle for many people from a very young age.
There is a much wider number of formats of Australian cricket these days, making it even more popular for family viewing. From 5-day test matches, to 3-hour big bash games, that are designed to offer great entertainment.
Australia is surrounded by some of the best beaches in the world. This is the exact reason why many Aussie kids grow up around water and develop into fantastic swimmers.
Over the years, Australians have developed a reputation for being some of the strongest swimmers and many have gone onto become Olympic medallists which further encourages young kids to jump into the pool.
Soccer is now the number one team sport played by Australian kids aged 6 to 13, coming in closely behind swimming as the number one activity for this age group.
In the last 15 years, the popularity of soccer has exploded due to the success of the A-League and also the success of the Australian Socceroos in international competition.
Tennis is a great sport for kids of any age and combines a range of skills that improves fitness and hand eye coordination.
Every year in January, the Australian Open is held, showcasing the world’s best elite tennis players, which continues to attract more and more players to the game.
Still not sure which sport(s) your child should play?
If your child isn’t sure which sports they’d like to play, why not try a 3-day Sports Camps in Australia where they can trial the game without needing to register for an entire season or purchase all the equipment.
Fortunately for parents, many of the sports described in this article are relatively cheap to get into and most clubs have gear that can be borrowed too.
The most important thing is that you find a sport that your kid loves to play. Not only will sport develop healthy habits, it will also create experiences and friendships that will last a lifetime.