Toddler Sports – Do They Make Any Sense?

Fitness coaches such as Doreen Bolhuis from Grand Rapids, Mich., who develops exercises for young children, believes in starting exercise early saying that in their family the workouts for kids begin while still in hospital.

The exercise programs that her company Gymtrix offers include ones for babies as young as 6 months! This appears to be an increasing trend; babies being groomed for athletic superstardom before they can so much as walk.

So can early training really help to turn out superstars? No, says Dr. Lyle Micheli, an orthopedic surgeon and founder of the first pediatric sports medicine clinic in the United States at Children’s Hospital in Boston.

Dr Micheli claims there is no great benefit in exposing babies to sport and that there is no evidence to support the hypothesis that starting off early enhances or accelerates coordination. In fact the doctor opines that there is a hidden cost here – that there is the potential of overuse injury when it comes to very small kids working out.

Bob Bigelow, a former National Basketball Association player is also critical of this approach to sports and feels that this stems from parents being over competitive and apprehensive of their child falling behind others in any way.

He is therefore critical of the fact that the emphasis in youth sports today is “more, more, more, younger, younger, younger.”


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