As a mother of five youngsters, I want them to enjoy their childhood and be active. Getting involved in activities and sports is a time commitment and can sometimes be costly. When our 8 and 6-year-olds expressed interest in playing soccer, we decided it was time to find a team for them to play on. Having previously been involved in a rec league with our oldest two years ago, we weren’t sure we wanted to go that route again.
Many rec leagues are really great and offer reasonably priced sports for area kids to be involved with. Our daughter really enjoyed her rec league but it was a bit more competitive than our 5 year old (at the time) was ready for. She would often begin crying on the field if she missed the ball, and scored 2 goals on their own team the last game of the season. Fortunately she had no clue, and was just so thrilled she scored! I do not have anything bad to say about rec sports, but if your child is not very competitive, or maybe very new to a sport, I think going through leagues like Upward first, is a really awesome choice.
Upward is a national Christian organization, using local churches to facilitate their objectives. It’s a place where kids can learn to play together as a team, learn a new sport (or sharpen skills) and also hear mini Bible lessons during both practices and games. We have found it to be a really neat group and a great blessing to our family.
A program like Upward is a great place to start if you feel like your child may be ready to play team sports. If your child shows real interest and ability in the sport chosen, that’s a great time to decide to move on to a league with more of a time commitment and competitiveness. The next step would be either through your local recreation department or a travel team or higher level team depending on the sport. Whatever the case may be, teaching kids to work together as a team and to get some fun exercise is never a bad thing!