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TOP 10 WAYS TO 'LET KIDS BE KIDS' ON THE SPORTS FIELD

Former pro-basketball player Bob Bigelow has the following advice:

* Adapt the game to the children, not vice versa.

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* Avoid overloading children with strategy; let them develop skills first.

* Give a half-hour back to the kids by letting them play free of adult supervision.

* Reduce team sizes for the youngest groups.

* Less is more: Let a child take a season off, he/she will be better for it.

* Resist the urge to form children into miniature adults.

* Be aggressive in questioning school boards and coaches. Ask: What is your philosophy?

* Don't encourage a child to join a traveling team until about age 12.

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* Swimming is the best sport to start early; it helps children develop familiarity with water and teaches them how to avoid life-threatening situations.

* Lighten up, and let kids have fun.