There’s no doubt that kids go through the same cycle of excitement and boredom during summer session and inevitably get sucked into a day devouring habit of screen time and video games.
If you scour the internet you will find numerous comparative articles on the pros and cons of youth sports versus video games, but the premise of most of these articles is immediately flawed. Why? Well let me lead you to water….
Do we expect our kids to eat Fruits OR Vegetables?
The answer is both, because both are dietary necessities essential to the well being of our kids. So why would we chose just one type of play for them with regards to video games and sports.
There are two type of play, Structured and Un-Structured, and both are important to the development and well being of a child. Video gaming is unstructured play and like all unstructured play, it should have time limits in order to be appropriately impactful to the child’s development. Yes – there are benefits to playing video games like problem solving, decision making and visual processing. But let’s not be foolish by thinking that they are a replacement for physical activity, social interaction and self esteem.
Youth sports can (and should) offer both types of play. Structured play has an educational purpose whereby coaches and parents interact with the kids for the purpose of advancing the child in areas of physical, mental and emotional development.
Unstructured sports may include pick-up games with friends, playing catch, a game of tag, or any other activity where the kids rule the game, its participants, rules, and time-line. Youth sports can accommodate both, and a good coach will ensure that he does just that.
For those article authors and random bloggers that compare Youth Sports (structured) to video gaming – you are missing the point. Participation in Youth Sports should be part of your child’s life experience. I shudder to think of the childhood memories that a hardcore gamer will have other than a depressed feeling of a lost childhood.
Parents – Get your kid in the game with
ONE Sports Nation