View Full Version : Kids, MA, and sports
I have two sons, 8 and 9, involved in Shinsei Hapkido, and both are very ambitious. The oldest, though, is also involved in whatever sport he can get on a team for (basketball, baseball, football, etc.), and is better than average at all of them. There are very few times of the year that he is not on one team or another.
The question I have for the forum is; is it helpful, harmful, or neutral for a young MA student to be involved in other sports to this degree? I can attest that his MA training has greatly benfitted him on the playing fields and courts, but I'm curious to hear from other MA parents who are in this situation.
I feel like I have to add that none of his participation is compulsory, either for MA or other sports. In fact, he would do more than he is right now if I would let him.
Cleveland, AL USA
I'm not a parent, or an expert, but as a former child who played sports, and now does Martial Arts, I can attest to the fact that playing sports as a kid and through high school has done nothing but help my Martial Arts progress. Sports teach discipline as well as improve coordination and of course improve overall physical fitness.
I dont see it as harmful or helpful...but
Not everyone can be good at all things...if your kid is really horrible at public team sports, but good at marial arts, stress the martial arts, but let them play team sports. Team sports are great for kids...and they are free.
If your child makes the commitment to a MA school, but misses frequently because of outside team sports, it could harm their training.
Sometimes you have to take the good with the bad, but let them experiance evrything they can:)
Team sports are free where you are? Tell me where you live, and I'll save enough on what I spend in reg. fees, equipment, uniforms, pictures, etc. to move there, with plenty to spare!! ;)
He is better than the average in whatever he does, simply because he has the attitude that he will do his best or quit. I don't see him going to MLB, NFL, or NBA, but he is respected on the teams that he is on for his work ethic.
When the seasons are in full swing, we miss one class a week. Since we show up early for some small group work with the sensei on the days we do make it, he doesn't fall behind much at all.
One class a week is good..we have kids that play football and stuff that are gone for the whole season...
Yes, if you play high school or junior high football here, you pay for nothing..but shoes, athletic supporter, and pictures, IF you want them..
I played all the way through high school and never paid a dime..we have athletic boosters that hold fund raises and sell concessions to pay fo rthe equipment.
Silverhand, my boy's nine, about to be ten, so no matter how good he is, he won't be joining any high school teams just yet!
When I coached a year ago, my team did it's own fundraising that paid for uni's, equipment, and trophies. However, since I took the "rejects" and beat the allstars twice officially and three times in practice games that year, the powersthatbe decided I didn't need to coach anymore. It was too stressful :eek: for the allstars' daddies to see "talent" being whipped by discipline :bow: and technique :karate:.
Hmm..I played little league baseball, but again, didnt have to pay a dime...I never got into midget league football so I dont know if you have to buy your own equipment..but I'll ask some dad's at our school and see if they have to pay for anything.
I can see how expenise that would be..having to buy equipment and they pay for MA lessons.
My daughter is only 2 so I am teaching her what I can at home when she wants:) and I dont have to worry about team sports for a while longer.
I have two daughters who both train in MMA, as do I. My oldest daughter and her father both compete in Air Rifle competitions. My youngest started shooting this year but has yet to compete.
I believe that my oldest daughter's MA training has helped her incredibly in her other sport. I also believe her Air Rifle has also helped her MA training. MA has helped build her physical strength and her endurance needed to shoot the competitions, while shooting has helped her with patience and concentration that is also needed in MMA. Although the two sports are COMPLETELY different they both have attributes that can help the other.
I agree with letting them experience all that they can. My son is 9 and my daughter is 10. My son is like yours, a natural at anything athletic and loves to be active. I think allowing (I allow it but don't require it, they have to want it) them to be involved in a number of different sports (and other things) is good to help them be well rounded and stay out of trouble. I never say no to new experiences. It's expensive, but I find the money because it's important to their development (both mental and physical). My son has soccer starting in about a month and he'll miss one day a week of MA (He'll still go to two) and then basketball is in the fall (MA is year-round). My daughter has swimming which is pretty much daily all summer and then MA year-round.
Oustside aren't harmful but sometimes a coach might get mad beacause they devoting too much to MA's not the sport that they are playing. I heard that coaches espically in high school don't like their althetes to particapte in outside activites from that sport.
Rock On :karate:
Unless they're serious athletes and training for the olympics or something, I would be very irritated if a coach were to tell my child what he can or can't participate in outside of that sport. At that level (child sports and even high school) it is purely for fun and no coach or anyone else has a right to ruin that.
At the highschool varsity level most coaches would expect the kid to be focusing on one sport at a time. It would be virtually impossible to do more than one anyway since practice and games are usually a 6 day a week commitment.
I don't think it would be possible to actively train MA and do a varsity sport at the same time. That said, you more than likely only get 2 maybe 3 years to play sports in Highschool, but an entire lifetime to study Martial Arts.
I think it would be highly dependent on the child and their ability to adapt to the differing requirements of the sports they were involved.
Some folks are just naturally gifted in atheltics. No matter what they try, they excel. As long as they have the time and will they should be allowed to pursue them. If they are participating at a more senior level, it is true that many coaches will demand more time for practices and expect some exclusivity in training. It becomes a choice for the child and parent at that point.
Others must try much harder and focus more keenly. For these kids I think MA would be of tremendous benefits. Attention to detail, coordination, fine and gross motor skills, strength and stamina training, etc lends itself to any sporting endeavor.
For me, I just want my two to be focused on what they are passionate about. I see an awful lot of parents push their kids into things or take the fun out a sport that a kid loves so the parent can live vicariously through the child.
Child + Sport + Coach + Team + Parents + Officials + Seriousness + a few other things.
Lots of variables. Some mix really good, some mix really bad.
Finding a good mix is one of the best things you can find.
Finding a bad mix and sticking with it is one of the worst.
Change one variable and it could completely flip it either way....
Let the kids be kids. If they are enjoying the activities, let them do it. I do agree with putting some limits on the total quantity, there needs to be time for school and time together as family.
It's my belief that this should be aproached on a case by case basis, but in my opinion, harmful for the MA. My parents prevented me from any serious study in a MA system because they wanted me to appreciate what im learning and the work i have to do for it.And achild shouldknow the differance between a martial art and a sport (unless , of course its's TKD :laugh: :up: ) But that's just my opinion
If your kid is passionate about athletics and motivated in that direction I see no reason why you should step in his way. What does it matter whether it helps or hinders his martial arts practice? Maybe its hard to be totally serious about all of those sports and the martial arts at once, but by experimenting and playing he will truely be able to find his niche. In any case, most sports stress many of the same values as the martial arts, discipline, commitment, mental toughness, etc.
Oh no! Zombie thread!
At the beginning of every sports season I see a lot of the kids at my dojo fade out of training. First they start coming only on weekends, then matches begin and they come even less, and finally they are "taking a break from training until the [insert sport] season is over" and they never come back. Even those who do make it through usually put in less effort and don't come as often. Either that or they are suddenly withdrawn from class because their parents received a bad report card because the kid never has time to do his/her homework.
School, martial arts training, and a team sport is a lot for a child to handle. Unless the kid is a very hard worker and well-organized, something is going to suffer. Sure, there are exceptions; one of our junior blackbelts has been training and playing baseball for six years and kept strait A's; but those students are few and far between.
I think that some experience with team sports is essential for the development of the child as a functional adult able to work with others. Therefore, IMHO, it is moot question. A balanced life can find time for a little bit of both - or all of one. :t2:
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