is to empower parents to provide
healthy and fun early sports experiences for kids
I am a mom of two young boys and like all moms, I have a ton of responsibilities.
In this age of information technology, becoming a “responsible” parent, as far as child development is concerned, has become a bit more challenging considering that there are endless opportunities to sign kids up for developmental classes, sports and activities and constant incentive to do so by what we see in our social media feeds.
As any self-help guru would tell you, it is crucial to be there for your kids during their formative years, as these are the years where they develop most of their analytical and motor skills (among others) that they carry on until adulthood.
Which is why, when we received a text message from a cousin asking: “hey, what sport should I sign my 5-year old up for?” we were inspired right then and there knew there was work that needed to be done.
Our answer then was: “Just play WITH them.” Parents are the most likely to introduce a child to sport. This became the basis for Pickup Sports, the first mission-based company to facilitate the introduction of a variety of sports through an easily implemented program by parents and other grownups.
What was your first memory of the sport that you love? Was it during a competition? Was it during your first win? It was probably when you played it with other kids in your backyard, or when you first played catch with your dad or raced your mom.
The point is, our first memories of the sports we came to love often was made outside of formal leagues.
The pure joy of moving around, the excitement of doing something without the burden of criticism or being on par with certain standards and the smiles of the people you’re playing with, these are the things that stick with a child as they grow up.
During the early stages of a child’s development, what’s more important and the real focus for me is for your kid to have fun! Parents should be made aware that they are their children’s biggest influencers. Our job as a parent is to introduce them to a sport and it’s up to them to judge if they’ll like it or not.
The good thing now is that as a parent, you’re no longer unsure as where to start, what equipment to buy or what curriculum to teach, as our team at Pickup Sports will take care of that for you. Please feel free to browse our starter kits and we look forward to seeing your child introduced to a new sport by you!
I am Dr. Neeru Jayanthi, Chief Sports Medicine Advisor at Pickup Sports and Director of Pickup Sports Foundation and also a number of youth sports national organizations. I have devoted nearly 20 years of my career as a sports medicine physician to the treatment and research of young athletes, including their training patterns. I have been invited to speak nearly 200 times around the world to countless organizations about my research on young athletes. If I were to sum up what I have learned all these years, a few things are pretty clear:
- Sports experiences for children should be directed by the child
- Children should be encouraged to explore and be introduced to a variety of sports.
- Early introduction and improvements of foundational ball and motor control increases the likelihood for a physically active childhood and adulthood.
- Children who participate in physical activity and sports WITH their parents are more likely to be physically active.
- Sports experiences should be an integral part of every child's growth regardless of family income, physical or mental abilities, or geography.
These concepts are supported by our highly esteemed Pickup Sports Advisory committee, and are embodied in the vision and development of Pickup Sports and Pickup Sports Foundation, Inc. We invite you to take a look at the most comprehensive, expert approved program for early introduction of sports to children WITH their parents or favorite grown ups.
Neeru Jayanthi MD,
Chief Sports Medicine Advisor at Pickup Sports
Director of Pickup Sports Foundation
Based in Research Expert Opinion
As a sports medicine physician, our Chief Medical Advisor Dr. Neeru Jayanthi has treated and researched young athletes and their training patterns for more than 15 years.
The Pickup Sports team surveyed more than 500 parents and found many positive associations of sports activities in young children. However, each child may have a different goal, and each family may want something different in the long-term from sports. There are some whom want to develop elite level skills and develop a competitive athlete. There are many whom want less competitive environments that still create opportunities for fun physical activity, friendships, confidence, and character-building. There are still other families whom have little relationship with sports and may feel disengaged, disinterested or discouraged. This last group may still want the best for their child, and have some longer term goals of physical activity that can be accomplished through some level of sport participation.
Our model begins with assessing your child, providing customized goals and fun activities to reach them, and ultimately providing guidance on sampling multiple sports in a fun way.