Content of the material
- The Complete List of High School Sports Offered in the US
- Best Sports for Kids at Specific Ages
- What Sports Can 3-Year-Olds Play?
- How to Get into Sports: FAQ
- How do I start a career in sports?
- What is the most straightforward sport to get into?
- What are the qualifications for something to be a sport?
- Get Started on Your Education
- Let Your Friends Take You to a Game
- What’s Next?
- About Us
- How Sports Form Friendships
- Reasons why kids love sports
- Build a Demo and Get Some Experience
- Try Something Totally New
The Complete List of High School Sports Offered in the US
These are the sports that fall under the jurisdiction of a State Athletic Association. Each state has its own Athletic Association that runs the sports leagues and championships for the below sports.
NOTE: Not all of these sports are offered in all states. For example, Skiing & Snowboarding isn’t offered in Florida. Less obviously, bowling isn’t offered in California and several other states.
Additionally, even if a sport is offered in your state, it may not be offered at your school. There might not have been enough interest or funding to create a team. If you hope to play a sport that’s offered in your state, but not at your school, consider starting a team. I’ll discuss this option more in-depth below.
There may be other sports offered at your high school that are played at a “club” level (they don’t have a state championship). To find out which sports are offered at your specific high school, check out your school’s website or email a school administrator or athletic director.
Unless otherwise noted, sports have both boys’ and girls’ teams or a co-ed team:
- Baseball (Boys)
- Cheerleading / Competitive Spirit Squads
- Cross Country
- Dance Team
- Field Hockey
- Flag Football (Girls)
- Football (Boys)
- Indoor Track & Field
- Skiing & Snowboarding
- Softball (Girls)
- Slow Pitch Softball (Girls)
- Swimming & Diving
- Track & Field
- Water Polo
Best Sports for Kids at Specific Ages
Kids will enjoy different sports at different ages. Babies and toddlers develop their motor skills through playing, so it is important to provide them with toys to do so. Between ages one and three, a tricycle is a great introduction to movement and self-propelled fun.This minimal amount of movement is enough to keep your child active and help them develop a love for activities that engage their bodies and minds.
Beyond those formative early years, specific sports will become appropriate to introduce to children. Certain sports are better suited for specific years of your child’s life, such as structured team sports for kids.
Because children often begin their introduction to sports through free play, they will develop a love for staying active, ultimately guiding them to team sports as they get older. Being part of a team will allow them to develop long-lasting friendships and a sense of teamwork and belonging. Encouraging their love for physical activity and movement is especially crucial as they develop. Participating in sports and staying active from an early age will enhance their mental focus and keep their bodies strong.
Let’s look at different sports for different age groups.
Three to Five Years Old
When your child is at this young age, organized sports are not typically a viable option. Use your creativity and play a lot of different games. Throwing and kicking balls, playing tag and hide-and-go-seek and running are excellent ways to get them associating sports with fun.
Don’t be afraid to use this time to introduce your child to sports they might play later. Learning how to ski, play basketball, swing at the tee-ball or score a goal are great ways to pique their interest in certain activities.
What Sports Can 3-Year-Olds Play?
At three years old, it’s best for children to free play and use their imaginations on the playground. This type of exercise is exciting for children and encourages their growth and development. It also allows them to build friendships at an early age.
Because free playing enables children to use their imagination, it’s best to avoid structured team sports for your toddler. However, you may notice your toddler expressing an interest in certain sports. If this is the case, foster their love for the sport. Doing so will help them be more excited to participate in it when they get older.
Some of the best sports for three-year-olds include swimming, dance, karate, running and gymnastics. These sports encourage hard work and individual mental focus, and they also foster teambuilding. As your child grows, they will improve their skills and apply these talents in a team setting.
Six to Nine Years Old
At this age, children are entering school and will be interested in new experiences and skills. A social life is extremely important to young children, so they may be drawn to sports their friends are playing. Playing sports is also an important way for children to develop skills like cooperating, resolving conflict and winning and losing gracefully.
Particularly in the United States, there are loads of options for children to get involved in sports. For example, some children may be drawn to gymnastics. As a largely individual sport, it still is usually taught in groups that allow for plenty of socializing. Children get to jump on trampolines, do somersaults, flop into foam pits and more — which makes it fun for them.
Another sport appropriate for children ages six to nine is soccer. Soccer groups at this age range from ultra-beginner to youth leagues. There are also sports like karate, dance, tennis, ice skating and skiing that children will enjoy learning.
Make sure whatever league your child happens to join is fun for them, and don’t forget to pay close attention to whether they seem interested in trying other sports out.
Nine to 12 Years Old
When a child reaches pre-teenage years, they start to develop a sense of independence. Social interaction is also a high priority, meaning group sports will likely be a good avenue for them.
Soccer, hockey, baseball, basketball and other such leagues will start to demand a bit more time from children around this age. Expect to spend quite a bit of time shuttling kids to and from practices and games, and take the opportunity to encourage them and become involved in the process.
This is also a great time to introduce sports that may or may not be part of their school’s program. Activities like mountain biking, rock climbing, skiing, snowboarding and diving may appeal to more adventurous children who need an outlet for their energy.
Teenage Years and Older
By the time your child hits teenage years, your role as a parent changes slightly. Because teenagers are much more independent, they are likely to dictate more of their own choices regarding sports.
Keep practicing encouragement, support and openness. If a high school sports team is adding more stress than fun to your child’s life, they may want to quit. While accepting such a decision can be difficult as a parent, don’t forget our mantra — sports should stay fun.
How to Get into Sports: FAQ
How do I start a career in sports?
- Get the right headline.
- Working in a university athletic department
- Diversify your skillset
Network until you drop: the planet of expert and university sports is much smaller than you think. That means that having success in the field means creating a reliable network.
What is the most straightforward sport to get into?
Studying a sport has the potential to be one of the best ways to spend your time and be healthy, and learning a new sport is an incredible way to stay fit and socialize with others. Several of the most straightforward sports are:
What are the qualifications for something to be a sport?
- competition between two or more individuals or teams;
- rules of the game that accept to know a winner;
- a primary purpose of victory;
- Certain victory by the competitors’ relative physical capacity, although strategy and chance also play a role.
Read More: Is Scuba Diving an Extreme Sport?
Get Started on Your Education
If you are waiting for a starting pistol to sound, it is not going to happen. You have to take the first step toward a sports broadcasting career. This means researching sports broadcasting schools and finding the school that offers the training you need to reach the top with the skills you need to succeed.
Let Your Friends Take You to a Game
Ask your friends what sports they enjoy, either watching or playing. Some of them might be part of a team, or regularly attend matches. Ask if you can go along and get a feel for it, or at least let them tell you about it. There are plenty of different sports out there, and some of your friends might be keen to recruit new fans or participants to a rarer, less popular sport that they are interested in.
If you’re interested in playing a sport, you should learn about what makes an amazing extracurricular activity for you college applications. Also, you should learn about how many extracurricular activities you need for college.
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How Sports Form Friendships
Sports echo real life: There is competition, teamwork, victory, loss, conflict and resolution. Being part of a sports team teaches the value of looking out for others, developing trust and confidence and showing respect for authority and for other teammates.
Being part of a team can build confidence, and confident children tend to have an easier time with school and social situations. But even simply being part of the group, regardless of natural athletic ability, allows for the opportunity to bond with others.
Sports are a great equalizer in that they introduce kids of different upbringings, ethnicities and schools. They create an exciting opportunity to bond with students who may not be in a child’s own peer group academically, giving them a better chance of finding someone they click with.
Reasons why kids love sports
Sport and fitness play a significant role in lifestyles for some families, and children may have influential external factors, such as family role models or athletes, that they aspire to be.
British athletes have made substantial efforts to promote the benefits of sports. The legacy of the 2012 Olympics and events such as European Championships in Glasgow showcase the passion and determination of young competitors in a variety of disciplines.
There are also a range of other reasons why children love playing sports aside from winning.
- Sport is fun – Fun is often the initial decider for kids when choosing to participate in any activity. If they don’t find it fun in those initial sessions, it will be challenging to keep them engaged and on task.
- It improves peoples’ skills – Sports give children the opportunity to develop skills and learn new things in a supportive environment. This boosts their confidence and performance levels in both education and extra-curricular activities.
- You stay fit and healthy – Alongside understanding the benefits of physical exercise, many schools also promote healthy choices within both the school and the home environment. Associations such as the British Nutrition Foundation3 are offering free food and nutrition training to primary school teachers in a bid to tackle childhood obesity and support physical education.
Travis from FitStop Fitness advises that “children are naturally competitive and love to outdo themselves – it’s a part of growing up! Just like they love to see themselves grow taller, kids love to watch themselves move faster and take more steps in the day. Because of that, fitness trackers are absolutely amazing at encouraging children to participate in sport. Being able to see their performance and watch its improvement over time is extremely excited for a lot of kids, sporty or not. Fitness trackers are also almost game-like in the way they function, so kids are drawn to the wearable technology and love to feel like “an adult” with their fancy fitness trackers on! I highly recommend using fitness trackers to encourage children to participate in sports and be more involved in their progress. Don’t forget to be part of the experience with the child and give them lots of praise if they improve, and let them know that it’s not the end of the world if they don’t. In the end, the performance itself isn’t as important as the fact that the kids are getting out there, participating, and doing their best.”
To add to the above, Aroosha Nekonam a Personal Trainer at Ultimate Performance says “nobody needs to be tracking absolutely everything under the sun as this may become unhealthy. Importantly, fitness trackers must be used correctly and wisely. To get children into sport and enjoying progression, it best to actually start tracking sleep duration and quality, step count and water intake, all things that will simply make them healthier all round. Trackers are not always that accurate and so it is important to not take them absolutely seriously as those using them can get disappointed and/or set unrealistic goals based on previous performance. It is important to always emphasise the bigger picture of enjoying sport, taking apart and being healthy.”
Build a Demo and Get Some Experience
You don’t have to wait until you get a job to get experience. Building a demo tape of games you report on can help you develop a voice that can become your brand. It is also great practice for following the action on the field and conveying it so that it’s easily digested and understood by the viewer.
Try Something Totally New
There are the traditional sports that we watch and play in school, that everyone knows about. Your American football, baseball, and basketball types. But that certainly isn’t everything. You could try something less well-known or popular. This is often a great way into the sport as fan bases will be smaller and more community-minded, and teams will be made up of beginners, looking for ways to build fitness and try new things. If there is a sport that you are interested in, but no teams in your local area, why not try to start your own? And, if you’re more of the sports viewer, there are things you could try to enhance your viewing experience. For example, you could place a bet on the outcome of the big game you were planning to watch anyway – you can learn more about how this works by using sports picks and betting tip sites like DocSports.com and take a look at expert predictions on the results so you can make an informed decision as to where to put your money. Not only could this bring another element of excitement when it comes to watching the game, you may even make some money from it!