Most kids like to play and they like playing sports. I think we know that.
I’m not sure we always know what the reason is.
Yesterday afternoon I was driving my eight year old son home from school. He’s a quiet kid so when he talks I try to pay attention and listen. I figure it’s pretty important.
He told me he really liked playing football on Sunday. He said it was really fun.
Of course, my next question was, “What was your favorite part?”
The answer I got pretty much surprised me. I thought it would be something like…
Nope. Not one of those.
It was, “I liked getting the jersey.”
And the next part was even better.
“I really liked that it had numbers on it. And I got number 17 the same as Philip Rivers.”
Followed by, “And the color is cool because it matches my cleats.”
As a coach, a parent, and an organizer of many youth programs, I never thought that the equipment we used was much of an enticement for kids.
I’m going to have to rethink this.
Maybe it’s just my kid. He is quite the slave to fashion. And he is a gear nut. But still I think there’s more to it than I would ever suspect.
So it brings us to some considerations for coaches, parents and those who are setting up youth sport programs:
1. What do you do for your team’s equipment?
2. What do the kids really like?
3. What can you do to provide more equipment or team apparel to keep them engaged?
I’d love to hear your thoughts and creative ideas on this. Because I think it goes to more than just eight year-old boys.