If your child has turned 6 or 7 you might be thinking about registering them with a club to further their engagement in rugby or sports in general.
As a parent myself of a child that has been involved in the LittleStars Rugby programme since the age of two, it is a wonderful sight to witness my child developing new core skills, as well as social and physical ones. There comes a time of course when as parents we naturally want our children to take the ‘next step’ in terms of their own development which for the most part will mean progressing to a local club to continue the strong foundations gained from the LittleStars coaching programme.
Over the years I have seen many children pulled out of something that they were enjoying, only to find them have given up taking part in that sport further down the line Here are a list of things to consider when thinking about the next steps to joining a club:
1/ The number one point to consider when thinking about joining a club is, is my child ready? The best way to find this out is to simply ask them do you still enjoy taking part in your weekly session? If the answer is yes and you see they are still engaged and importantly enjoy the sessions then it may be worthwhile continuing with their current class. A child’s motivation for taking part in sport is often very different to that of an adult, and we should not underestimate the importance of a child’s enjoyment and having fun while taking part in any activity. If you feel they have reached a plateau in terms of their skills development, speak to your coach about challenging them further. All our coaches have access to progressive games, skills and drills for older children that have been endorsed by our affiliation to UK Sports organisation SportsCoach UK.
2/ The second point to consider is what is the set-up like of your local club. If you are thinking of enrolling them into a mini rugby class then it’s always wise to go and watch a session first. Have a look at what the coaches are like, how they interact with the children. Do they shout at them for not listening to instructions, tell them off or don’t include or engage ALL the children in the activity? If the answer is yes to any of these then you may want to give them a wide berth, remember children’s enjoyment and the fact they can have lots of fun at their club is the most important element to them wanting to continue. Furthermore what is the ‘feel’ of the club like? Does it include parents and families as a community, with trips and social events? All good clubs these days will be very family orientated and child friendly.
3/ Thirdly don’t forget that the rugby season for the most part takes place in winter. This means for the most part Sunday morning games, in the wind, rain and often freezing cold conditions. Asking adults to go out and play a match in these conditions is often a big ask, so you can imagine putting the same demands on a 6 year old! In saying this, many children do enjoy the mud, the cold and getting stuck in but certainly something to consider as a parent when thinking about taking the next step.
Ultimately the decision to move your child to the next level is a personal one. Every child is unique and every parent should make this decision based on what’s right for them. At LittleStars our aim is to ensure every child that takes part gains valuable skills which can give them a solid foundation in sport and physical activity on which to build and our goal is to see all children progress and reach their potential.
Whether you will be returning with us for the new term, or taking the the next step in your child’s sporting life remember a child’s learning should all be about one thing- FUN!