Posted by: Mommy dearest | 2008/07/28

My child and sports

My daughter is 7 years old and in Grade 1, and into everything sporty. She does horseriding, loves athletics, ice-skating, netball and would have played cricket too, if the practice times didn' t overlap, and has recently started cross country running. (I said no to tennis - thought I had to draw the line somewhere. She moped about for a while, but after a bit of a discussion, and a final " because I say so"  from me, she relented.) I regularly assure her that she doesn' t have to do it all, and should only do so if she really wants to - I was worried that she would want to do all these things to please mom &  dad, instead of doing it because she wants to. It seems she really really wants to. I am worried though about her muscles developing more rapidly and her bone growth not keeping up with that - especially her legs. Some of the older children doing cross country often complain of painful ankles and shins, so I' m worried that it might be too much too soon for her. What can I do to minimise the risk of injury and what more can I do to help her? (She does have proper running shoes and their coach does proper stretching, warm up and warm down before and after training). The horseriding seems very beneficial to stretch the tendons and muscles in the calf (heels down, toes up). So any advice, comments and, well OK, even criticism will be welcome.

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageHealthy Bones

Dear Mommy dearest
If she does not have any problems physically, let her do what she wants if she has the time. Usually things sort themselves out when they get older because they don't have time to do everything they want. You will have to sit down with her at that stage and discuss choices etc because she will not be able to continue with everything as the school work just gets too much. Also rmember that she is still in the process of finding out what she really likes and what she is good at. Rather have an active kid than a tv-addict! I had the same situation with my daugther and it got sorted out round about grade 4/5. Good luck with the driving around between events!

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