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.
* 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.
* 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.