One of my daughters is NOT a team player. There, I said it.
You see, while her other teammates on the soccer field are cheering each other and and shouting their team name when someone gets the ball, my little one is picking flowers and playing in the sand. And when somebody scores a goal and we say “Look, your team just scored!” she replies, with a frown and crossed arms, “But I didn’t score a goal.”
As a child I myself was the picture of not-a-team-player-un-athleticism. I was always the last or second to last in everything in elementary school. I was the kid who whiffed it instead of kicking the ball in kickball. I was the kid that closed my eyes and blindly held out my clutched hands when a volleyball came anywhere near my direction. To go along with my lack of talent I also had ZERO interest in any of the conventional sports that were offered in our small town.
The great thing about Dallas in 2014, however, is that for kids who don’t fit into the traditional “sports” mold there are still plenty of options. You see, not every child is going to want to be the star of the baseball team. Not every little girl wants to do gymnastics. And that’s okay.
Even though we dress our baby boys in shirts with footballs on them and dream of our girls being ballerinas, children are their own people; we do them a disservice when we force our dreams onto them.
And yet, in world of childhood obesity (AND the need for parental sanity – please stop climbing the walls!!) we still want our kids to get out and get some exercise.
Below are 5 alternative sports for your non-sporty children to try. With summer upon us and camps galore, such as the JCC, Summit Climbing Gyms and classes at We Yogis, you can let your kids dip their toes into any or all of these to see which suits their fancy.
Ages 5+. For girls and boys desiring to be pirates (my daughter became obsessed with learning how to “sword-fight” after reading Barbie and the 3 Musketeers when she was 4). Kids learn coordination AND get to permission to play with swords…what more could an adventurous child ask for?
What to Google: Fencing Clubs Dallas.
Track and Field
Ages 5+. This is for the child with boundless energy but nowhere to use it. With events ranging from the discus throw to the 100 meter dash to the 1600 meter run for kids with great endurance, there is literally something for everyone.
What to Google: Track Club Dallas
Ages 5+. Yes, this is a REAL sport. It’s even in the Olympics! Jumping on a trampoline in your backyard is one thing, but being taught to flip, backflip, twist and jump REALLY high brings a whole new level of excitement for kids.
What to Google: Trampoline and Tumbling Dallas
Any age. Is your child a climber? Let me rephrase that…is anyone’s child NOT a climber? From the safety of bouldering inside to the freedom of letting them climb to new heights, rock climbing is something almost all kids can do it. Most of the gyms in Dallas offer kids’ clubs that eventually funnel into competitive climbing teams. (Hint: most kids will not be scared of heights until they are told by an adult or other child that they SHOULD be afraid.)
What to Google: Rock Climbing Dallas
Ages 3+. For the introspective, for the jittery, for every child on the face of the planet. Your kids will develop strength, flexibility, concentration AND great listening skills.
What to Google: Kids Yoga Dallas