Are competitive sports good for kids?

I have a daughter who is 6 and has been in casual gymnastics classes for two years. Her coaches are telling me I need to get her in more classes and start competing as she shows promise to excel in the sport. But I’m just not sure I’m ready for that. She seems to like it, but she is SO young still to be thrown into competitions like this. So are competitive sports good for kids?


Help a mama out and respond anonymously on our forum. Are competitive sports good for kids?

If you want her to excel and she continually shows interest then yes


My son quit Little League because he didn’t like the pressure and competitiveness.

1 Like

My 9 year old has been in competitive gymnastics since she was 5 and absolutely loves it

Try out a couple competitions and see how she likes it.
My 9 and 11 yr old are in swim and every couple months do a meet, why do all the practice/training and not see what you can do.
You should be the one to decided how many she goes to.
Also just because you do meets does not mean you need to make it competitive, you just need to do your best.

What? Im just astonished by so.e moms on here. If she’s showing potential and wants to do it, why not? It should never be forced but competitive sports are great for kids. Why would u think it wouldn’t be?


We told our kids to try it for one season and then they had the choice to keep going or not. One loved it and the other was over it before it was over but she had a team depending on her so she stuck it out and didn’t go back. Every kid is different but learning about to be a team, working together for a common goal, helping others and so many other huge lessons are so important.

1 Like

i think she is too young

1 Like

Absolutely. She needs to learn how good winning feels but also losing.

My kids play almost ever sport they are 8&9 they have played starting at age 4 they love it I think it’s great for them
If she is interested in a certain sport go with that but if she is showing that she likes multiple do that we do soccer football volleyball softball/baseball & basketball each of my kiddos have 1 sport that is there favorite soccer for my son so he just started a travel team but still does everything else and softball for my daughter so she has been doing camps also I also volunteer to coach both soccer teams and volleyball team it keeps us all busy and they love it

Don’t rush it. Plenty of years ahead to compete! What’s the hurry? Competing might turn her away from the FUN she’s enjoying and what she loves !


Yes. And if she don’t like it then just pull her out. But if she is going to continue to show interest in the sport then she is going to want to compete against other girls. Just teach her its ok to lose. And its ok that someone else is better. Says congrats and move forward.

Ask her if SHE’S ready … We will forever try to safeguard our kids but we have to also understand that sometimes (most of the time) they’re ready before we are explain to her you can do a trial run let her know if she wants to try to compete her coaches have expressed that they see her talent and let her know if she likes competitions she can continue to do so if she doesn’t she doesn’t have to continue competing. There are people who play or did what they do because they love it and there are people that love what they do and they also love the thrill of competition.

1 Like

Some kids need it, some kids like it, some dont do well with it… Learning styles matter. Its not one size fits all

1 Like

Absolutely! My middle daughter is 9 (10 in October) and has been doing competitive dance since she was 6! She loves it! My older daughter is 12 and has been doing travel softball since age 8 and my 7 year old is in her second year of travel softball! It keeps them busy and focused! But, if any of my girls ever told me they weren’t enjoying it or they were ready to quit, I would respect their wishes!

Depends on the child. Is she passionate about it? Does she want to compete? As long as it’s what she wants to do, and not what everyone else wants her to do, support it.

Coaches exploit - if they are pushing it on you, they have an agenda and it’s not for “her own hood”

1 Like

What’s damaging is not communicating with your child and 1 seeing if they want to and 2 keep communicating that if they change their mind that it’s okay. Don’t let them feel pressured into thinking they need to and they need to be Olympic quality.

Let her try. I tried tons of sports even quit a few because of my dad being such a “pusher.” I am competitive and loved sports but my dad just ruined alot of stuff for me. I would say to let her try if thats what she wants to do and if she doesn’t like it then she can quit. Be supportive. I’m a mom too with a 4 year old and another due any day. My 4 year old plays soccer and while she doesn’t quite grasp the competitive aspect yet she does love playing.

Yes we loved soccer because it teaches healthy competition and teamwork. My girls loved it!

As long as when/ if she loses interest you let her stop. And don’t work her to the bone. Yeah training is needed but if she doesn’t have the heart for it, she will resent it.

It depends on your kid. My loved doing things until they were constantly practicing for exams.

My daughter is 8(almost), she’s been doing casual 1class a week since she was 13m old. We just (this sept) bumped her up to 2 classes a week.
She has expressed interest in joining the competitive classes, I’m not sure she’s ready for that yet. Practices are longer and happen 3+ times a week. I’ll be talking to the coaches and maybe try it for next year when she’s 9

Nahhh. Thats why they have competitive sports for kids. Cus its NOT good for them. :roll_eyes:

My 8 and 10 year old boys made the transition from recreational baseball to competitive select baseball a year ago and they’ve both grown so much. Better competition and challenges can be better for them if they love and thrive in that kind of environment. At the end of the day the most important part is whether or not they are having fun. I just follow their lead.

Have you talked to her about joining the team? Does she show an interest? Absolutely competitive sports are good for kids. It teaches them time management, coping skills, team work, strategy, builds self-esteem, confidence, problem solving skills, there is more than just the sport. If she isn’t into the effort and time it is going to require to be on the team and if you aren’t into the effort and time it is going to require for a competitive team parent, then no don’t do it. But yes competitive sports are good for kids.

Help a mama out and respond anonymously on our forum. Are competitive sports good for kids?

Don’t do it personally. I did it and its super tiresome and your daughter will miss a ton. I missed out on a lot and my friends who stuck with gymnastics ended up missing things like prom, birthday parties, her only friends will mainly be gymnast since you and she won’t have time for anything else. Its great if that’s what she loves but if she only likes it it ends up being not worth it. Wont end up as a career in the long run and unless she makes it the Olympics I wouldn’t put my kid through it. Plus there’s the injuries and constantly being told perfection is the only thing that matters messes kids up in the long run


I think they are fantastic. But there’s two kinds of kids. Kids that love it and kids that only wanna do it for fun. If she’s into it so it

1 Like

You will both become married to it. It takes a lot of time and money to compete. Let her be a kid for a bit yet and let her decide in a few more years if she is willing to dedicate herself to competition level gymnastics.


Don’t do it. They miss most of the fun stuff. Time and money invested. No competitions.

:woman_facepalming:t2: what kind of question is this? Yes, it’s good to have them in competitive sports because it teaches discipline and goal setting……


I don’t have experience in gymnastics, but competitive sports are my most treasured memories as an adult. Competitive sports (travel softball and volleyball) taught me life long long lessons I still use today. My oldest son travels and CHOOSES (that’s a key word here) to train and compete over sleep overs and going out to the movies. Although he finds time to do those things with friends too. Baseball has helped him set small goals in order to achieve an overall larger goal. He’s learned self discipline. Respect. Perseverance. How to be a teammate. How to win and how to take a loss. How to humbly celebrate himself and how to celebrate the success of others. My youngest are just now joining martial arts and can see that this sport will do the same for them. Ultimately it’s a lot of money, time and hard work for both of you. But if it’s something she wants to do, then most definitely support her! It’s such a huge gift to her that she will receive from forever.


I started training in gymnastics when I was 3. It was decided by my coach and my mom that I would go on to the Olympics when I was old enough then college gymnastics. I quit when I was 10 and it was a huge disappointment to my mom. I would talk to her about the sport and what she wants to do with her talent. Just because she is talented doesnt mean that she has to take it anywhere, she may not want all that pressure. Competitive sports are only positive if the person who is participating in them wants to be on that level. If she doesnt want to, she has other talents and interests that deserve to be explored.


Personally I think it is good for kids. It does more than compel them to excel and work extra hard. In fact, for most kids what it will do is teach them how to handle losing gracefully and without thinking it’s a character flaw or the end of the world. There’s so many learning opportunities and many kids build their genuine love for a sport that way

I have experience in gymnastics and other sports. It’s very good for kids to learn many life lessons. Currently my daughter does 16 hours a week for her gymnastics team. She loves it and can’t get enough of it. I think you just have to listen to her. Some kids don’t have the compassion and dedication for it. It’s ok to not love it. I know most kids start early in gymnastics. Mine didn’t start team until she was 8. She is now 11. She also plays softball. I’d rather her be active than using electronics any day!

As for other sports, you can wait on those another year or two.

Personally, I think competition is good for kids. Teaches them they won’t always win, to work hard, and how to be a good winner and a good loser. However, that’s just my experience :slightly_smiling_face:

1 Like

Yes they are great for kids! My daughter has been in competitive cheerleading since she was 4 years old! She is going on year 3 and will be 6 later this year. She has done so well, learns so much, and definitely keeps her busy and structured!

Both me and my husband did competitive sports, my one sister has been doing competitive soccer since she was 5 or 6 and is now going to college for almost $20k less a year because of soccer, and my other 2 sisters have been doing dance since they were 2 and are on competition teams and they’re now 13 and 15 and still love it. Try it out for a year :woman_shrugging: if she doesn’t like it you end it

Try it out. If she tells you its too much then she can scale back

I think every child should train in self defense and fitness.

Let her be a child,sports taugt me alot,but I started playing at 14 or fifteen and got better than kids that played all their childhood

My husband and his sister were in club sports (hockey and volleyball) and school sports. Club sports are expensive and take a lot of time and often require traveling. That being said, my husband and his sister loved being involved and have a lot of good memories and made a lot of life long friends. My husband keeps hoping our kids want to get more involved in sports.

Yes great idea if it’s possible. Ur mom and u know best. Honestly if I didnt live so far away from town I would put my kid in soccer, dance class, or taekwondo. She just has so much energy and no where 2 let it out. It’s just by the time she gets home its 4PM. dinner bath story homework bedtime 630. If I were 2 pick her up and take her 2 a sport, most dont start until 4 anyway the practice is about an hour and then drive time is about an hour. It would leave little 2 no time for her homework and a good routine that I think is acceptable for a 6 year old. Go with what u think u can do. Worst u can do is try it and if it becomes 2 much 4 1 reason or another u can always just go back 2 where she is now.

Ya if they don’t give everyone a trophy


Ask her what she wants.

1 Like

Danielle do you have any words of wisdom?

Not what I’d recommend. They say to keep kids from specific sport training until they’re older. More variety teaches them more skills. The ballet world doesn’t start taking in students (for the professional division here) until 12. 6 year olds should be doing things for fun and to develop basic motorskills and make friends.
I’d keep it casual until your child decides that they want to train harder.

1 Like

The coaches get rich by having kids in competitions. Do what is best for you and yours.

Yes! They are very good for kids! I am a volleyball coach and I can vouch that competitive sports teach kids many life lessons and values that most other things don’t! Now the “everyone wins” crap I believe should go away starting age 8-10 but I’m old school.

I think healthy competition can be beneficial. It can teach discipline, how to lose and and win with grace and be a huge confidence booster. I think it’s mostly the parents that can make it a toxic environment to be in. Some parents like to live vicariously through their children and make it to where only winning matters. Just don’t be one of those parents. Those parents are why I hope my son doesn’t take an interest in sports

1 Like

I love competitive sports. My 9-yr old has been in gymnastics now for 3 years and she is advancing far on team. My 7-yr old does MMA (12 disciplines) and also competes at tournaments.

I guess it depends on the child, competitive sports are good for some and others it just adds pressure. Talk to your daughter and see what she wants. If she wants to then move forward with it if she’s happy attending the classes she is then stick with what your doing. She will let you know if she’s ready or not.

I was a gymnast when I was that age and did it for years! Competition and sports, (I feel,) are good for kids. It teaches discipline (whether or not they need it,) and good sportsmanship. Plus it teaches them good lessons on winning, and losing. And always doing your best. I was very competitive, but I think it helped me for adulthood as I truly became more humble as well.

There’s nothing unhealthy about competing. Just make sure you he or she that losing is okay, good sportsmanship, learning from mistakes and trying again is all that matters.

I think 8 or 10 at the earliest. They have their whole life to be competitive let them and you enjoy their early years. The only thing I would recommend at that age is swimming lessons of you haven’t already it is good exercise, fun and most importantly could save their life

Help a mama out and respond anonymously on our forum. Are competitive sports good for kids?

It’s whatever you think is best. Competition is a huge commitment and often expensive. My daughter is six and this will be her fouth season in competition cheer. I wish I could find the article I shared a while back about how I don’t pay for cheer and all the things I do pay for. Such as lifelong friendships, being exhausted but still showing up, working with a team, coming back from loss. When she wants to quit I tell her she has to finish the season because she is part of a team and needs to be there for them. After that she can quit. She is excited to start season four!

So long as you teach her how to be a good winner and loose. It’s ok to win and it’s ok to loose. Good sportsmanship is a dying manner.

1 Like

Teamwork, brothership, or sistership, builds bonds, builds friendships, gives them a sense of something to do, feeling of importance of something to do, good exercise. 🤷🏽 So they say

My son… Who will be 7 in October… Has been playing on a travel baseball team… The competitiveness has helped with his ADHD. He begs to always play and practice even in the off season. We just taught him that it is ok if he loses or if he has a bad game …

It’s your decision mama, make sure you know competitive is a huge commitment for the family with practices and competitions. My advice is to try two classes a week and see how that goes, I imagine with school starting it’s going to be long days.


When I was little we competed against each other to win there’s nothing wrong with competition at a young age

My daughter is 5 and we just started company dance… it teaches commitment, dedication, and discipline at an early age, it’s helped her out in so many ways and she loves it, she is attentive, motivated and proud of what she can do. It’s a big commitment on the parents side too, both time and financially, but I think it’s well worth it… my daughter is much more mature and well behaved than her other 5 yr old friends who have not done sports.

I was that age when I was in competitive but up to you

Just make her comment to the team for the season. Then ask about the next one. She might not like it

Ask the experts on wastebook. You can’t go wrong. You’ll get at least a dozen or more opinions

Help a mama out and respond anonymously on our forum. Are competitive sports good for kids?

Absolutely. My daughter thrived in softball, on a competitive level. When she played with these “all is fair” teams, she was miserable.

1 Like

JS my youngest sister started having practice 3×s a week and ended going to Florida for a huge competition, lots of traveling and she made so many friends💜 now that she’s older she’s an extremely dedicated athlete cheerleader and great inschool, she broke her arm when she was 9 or 10 (doing something she knew not to do without her coach) and stopped gymnastics but picked up cheerleading in middle school

I was a competitive athlete and my oldest just graduated as an elite baseball player. My 3 1/2 year old cannot wait to play. I think if she likes it and wants to put in the work, then do it. There are so many benefits.

My son is 7 and fixing to turn 8. We are allowing him to try out for travel ball this upcoming season. We have been thinking about this decision for awhile because he is a good baseball player (often one of the best on his teams and also one of the youngest). We had played rec ball since 4 and made the All Star teams the last 2 years and we fill he has a lot of potential but we worry about pushing him to soon. He really loves the game and always wants to go to practice and extra lessons. His love and willingness to practice is what has pushed us in the direction to let him try it. If it is overwhelming we can always take him out and wait till he’s older.

1 Like

Soccer for sure if she’d be interested. It’s way more than kicking a ball around like some seem to think. Definitely competitive

Absolutely do it if she wants to. I was in competitive sports from the time I was 4 and it was the best part of my childhood

She can try it but might be disappointed if can’t cope , as she’s been doing it for 2 years she must love it x

Ask her if she wants to do more lessons/go to competition, let her make the choice, don’t force her


I think it’s up to her, if she wants to try it then great. If she doesnt, that’s great too. If she tries it and doesnt enjoy it, that’s also great. What matters is that she enjoys herself!

Yes and no.

I grew up as an elite level soccer player whose entire childhood revolved around the game. When I had a career ending injury in MIDDLE SCHOOL I became severely depressed. It was my life and it was gone. Those were dark days.

So tip: Don’t make the sport the kids entire life and identity.


ONLY if SHE wants to do it. Don’t be one of those parents who only cares about you and the competition. If she chooses to do so. Let her.

Definitely let her decide.

1 Like

Do what SHE wants to do.

1 Like

Yes its good for her

Advanced classes are one of hing, competition is another.

I was a competitive gymnast my entire childhood and still nothing makes me moreproud besides having my son i loved ut and kived for it i say let her tey if she decides she dont like the competitive part then let her go back to normal…cant hurt and she may fall in love like i did

Yes. So much to learn by competing not just about winning. Life is one big competition anyway. If the children enjoy it that’s all that matters.

It depends on if your daughter is really interested or not. I also dont recommend sports where everyone gets a trophy. Kids can learn some great life lessons from sports. I know I learned the benefits of hard work, commitment and the comradery of being part of a team. I also learned how to win and face defeat. Both of which are going to occur throughout life. If she has a gift you should help her develop it. However if she is not interested it will be a tough sell for her to invest the time and effort to excel.

Depends on the kid and the coach.