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The Signs of Pushing Kids Too Hard in Sports

by Jeremi Davidson, studioD

Playing sports can have many benefits for children, including learning physical skills and making friends. At the same time, it is important that parents consider the personality traits of their child to ensure he gets the most out of the experience. In some cases, parents push their children too hard, which turns this seemingly fun experience into a frustrating one, according to KidsHealth.

Overuse and Overtraining Injuries

If your child is constantly hurting herself while playing sports, you might be pushing her too hard. Overuse injuries are the most common with children who are devoted to a sport, especially if they start high-intensity training at a young age. The injuries from which your child might suffer include fractures, concussions and ligament tears and these injuries are frequently the result of placing too much pressure on the child to perform, reports HealthyChildren.org.

Development of Stress and Anxiety

When parents push their children too hard in sports, it can foster stress and anxiety. In many circumstances, the child is not all that interested in participating in the sport, reports KidsHealth, but the parent pushes him in that direction. Some children participate in too many sports, which can have a similar effect. Children who are too busy can feel tired, depressed or anxious. They can also complain of headaches and fall behind on their schoolwork. Overall, it is up to the parent to decide whether the child is being pushed too hard and is trying to do too much.

Decline in Academic Performance

When a child has too much to do after school, it could hinder academic performance. Kids require a healthful diet and a routine to maximize their learning ability, and if your child is always on the go, she will not have enough time in the day, suggests HealthyChildren.org. If you see your child's grades starting to slip, her dedication to sports might be hindering her nutrition, preventing her from getting enough sleep and not providing her with enough time to do her homework.

Poor Skill Development

Having a parent push too hard in one sport can hinder a child's ability in other sports. Young children generally build their skills during unstructured play, which allows them to explore and experiment. Forcing your child to specialize in only one sport at too young of an age can lead to an uneven skill development. You might notice that she is uninterested in other sports or that her skills in these sports are lacking. This can also hurt her socialization skills, cause her to burn out at a young age and can limit his potential in other sports in which he wishes to participate as he gets older.

About the Author

Jeremi Davidson began freelance writing in 2005. Davidson enjoys writing about sports and personal fitness, contributing to a number of different health and lifestyle websites. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from Thompson Rivers University.

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