What Age is Best for Starting Organized Activities?
Simple skills such as throwing or kicking a ball are part of normal toddler development.
However, children this young are not ready for more complex tasks like proper throwing or kicking technique.
All play at this age should be fun and spontaneous with minimal organization.
I highly recommend that all pre-school and early school--aged children learn skills such as balancing, tumbling, rolling, and jumping.
No matter what activity is selected later in life, command of these fundamental tasks will enhance athletic ability and safety.
Formal introduction of organized sports should begin at age 5 at the earliest.
Why age five?
Most five year-old children have developed an attention span to listen to adult teachers, work with other children, and follow simple multi-step commands.
They also can learn a task in one situation (school) and repeat it in a new situation (home).
All these reasons explain why children start kindergarten at age five.
From age 5-8, the main emphasis should be on fun and learning of the basic sport skills.
There should be no competition (keeping score or standings) as competition is so complex it may interfere with learning skills.
Repeat as many times as necessary: there should be no competition.
Contrary to the beliefs of many parents and coaches, an early start or early success in sports is not consistently correlated with success in later years.
Thus, the key to five year-olds is to teach proper technique and focus on the basics.
At this young age, the winning percentage should not be based on any measure of wins and losses, but rather on how much fun the children have and how many want to play again the next season