Pint-Sized Players – Basketball, Soccer, and More

May 21, 2009


These days, even the littlest school children are playing team sports. They are out there in droves with their whole families watching while they are playing t-ball, peewee football, soccer and even basketball. The rules of the games are simplified to allow these littlest players to learn the basics while having fun and the playing fields and basketball hoops and goals are sized down to fit the players. Watching these pint-sized players makes a person feel good in so many different ways.


Imagine a late spring evening, the park lights are on, cars line the streets and families are out in droves to support the team. The players aren’t much bigger than a regular baseball bat, but their love of the game is as big as the field they’re playing on. The little players learn the basics of the game and enjoy the benefits of their own accomplishments. The excitement that each little play generates rivals that of any major league team.


Now imagine a wide field marked into numerous smaller soccer fields. The smallest fields with the smallest players have but four players on each side and no goalie. The players run determined behind the ball in a little bunch as it is dribbled up and down the field.


Each player tries his or her hardest to get the ball away from the group and guide it down the field to kick it into the goal. The parents, siblings and grandparents on the sidelines cheer each little attempt and personal accomplishment, often for other players on the team as well as their own. Applause is heard from all whenever one of these littlest players scores, even if it is a score for the other team.


Basketball for the little guys is played on half courts with adjustable basketball hoops that have been lowered to fit the height of these smaller players. They take as much pride in their ability to score a goal as the big guys do though and are cheered just as enthusiastically. Their games are often played on indoor goals and out of the chilly weather that often accompanies basketball season. Inside, the court is brightly lit and the players heat up the court as they show their newly acquired dribbling and passing skills. It isn’t hard to imagine, once again, the cheers and enthusiasm of parents and friends as the players make their moves.


Team sports offer so much to the child, the family and the community as a whole. The children are active, setting the tone for a healthy lifestyle and building skills that will enable them to continue playing and enjoying the health benefits of vigorous activity. They are also benefiting from the experience of playing as a team while building friendships that last through the years.


The families are coming together to enjoy the accomplishments of the player and in doing so are spending some quality time together. The community grows closer as players and parents get to know each other and come together regularly, cheering each other’s accomplishments and commiserating with each other in defeats.

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