I didn’t get into competitive sports — if you could even call it that — until I was in fourth grade, when I signed myself up for volleyball and basketball at my elementary school. I was just 10 years old when I learned how to do lay-ups and serve overhand.
But apparently, 10 is too old.
These days parents are throwing their kids into gyms and buying them training videos before they’re potty-trained, according to a story from the New York Times.
Gymtrix offers a library of videos starting with training for babies as young as 6 months. Kindergartners compete in soccer and T-ball leagues. Gyms across the country are enrolling children as young as 4 months old. And there’s a growing number of baby sports DVDs from athleticBaby and Baby Goes Pro.
Is this crazy — or a sign of the changing times?
Sure, my mom signed me up for a tumbling class when I was a toddler. But we rolled around on padded mats. It was probably more of a socializing exercise than an introduction to competitive gymnastics.
The entrepreneurs behind these businesses will argue different points: This is encouraging kids at a young age to be healthy and active, thereby combating the rising obesity rates. And let’s face it, the younger you start in a sport, the better you’ll likely be.
But when are parents just pushing their kids too much — and too young?
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