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Outdoor Sports for the Kids at the Playground!

Outdoor kids sports are important to the physical, psychological and social health of children. Physically active children are less likely to be overweight and less likely to develop Type 2 diabetes later in life. Kids who develop a love of sports and the habit of consistent physical exercise are also more likely to remain physically active as an adult. Team sports also provide psychological benefits that come from learning life lessons of good sportsmanship and being a team player while teaching children how to cope with stress and the challenges of competition. Socially, children involved in sports benefit from social interaction and accountability. The sense of unity and belonging in team sports also contributes to positive self-esteem and confidence. While not all inclusive, this guide provides resource materials for adults interested in encouraging and supporting outdoor sport for children in their neighborhoods, communities and local playgrounds.

Youth Football

  • American Youth Football: This international youth football organization promotes teamwork, good sportsmanship, self-discipline and responsibility while helping youth learn to play by the rules and enjoy the game of football.
  • Youth Football Coaching Tips : This article discusses the importance of helping youth have fun while learning the fundamentals of football.
  • Coaching Football: Offense: While this article offers tips for coaching offense, this website also offers multiple articles, videos and fact sheets for coaches and other adults helping with youth football activities.
  • Coach Parker's Youth Football Tips: This website offers practical and proven youth football tips. Here you can find plays and playbooks for little league and peewee teams, as well as book and DVD recommendations.
  • Free Football Drills: This site provides hundreds of free football drills for all positions and skill levels including a separate category for youth football drills.
  • Youth Coaching Support: Coaching books, drill tips, and helpful advice for improving support play can be found on this website.
  • Advice for First-Year Youth Football Coaches: This advice from seasoned coach Tom Bass helps first-year youth football coaches examine their motivation and then focus their coaching in the areas of safety, techniques, motivation and fun.
  • Football Drills, Plays, and Coaching Tips : In addition to a wealth of information for youth football plays, tutorials and tips for coaches, you can sign up on this page to receive 45 drills appropriate for youth football players ages 5-15.
  • Youth Football Coaches Association Resources : Free Drill Library. You can also find information here for joining the Youth Football Coaches Association for more resources and support.

Youth Basketball

Youth Baseball

  • Quality Coaching Baseball: This site provides general baseball information, free drills, coaching tips and more for youth baseball coaches, players and parents.
  • Youth Baseball Information: Articles, drill videos, and other free resources for youth baseball coaches, parents and youth baseball fans.
  • Baseball Drills and Coaching Tips: This site has many resources for coaching youth baseball. You can also gain access to four youth baseball drill videos when you sign up for more information on this page.
  • Important Aspects of a Baseball Coach: Helpful tips and advice for youth baseball coaches.
  • Fielding Position: This is page provides drills and skills that you can teach players in fielding positions. You'll find links to drill videos from here.
  • 24 Little League Pitching Tips - Looking for tips to help your Little League players improve their pitching? Start with this article and consider signing up for the newsletter for more free baseball tips.
  • Helpful Baseball Drills : Here you can find helpful drills and practice tips for all ages and skill levels.

Youth Soccer

  • Benefits of Playing Soccer for Kids: Besides being easy to learn, there are other benefits of youth soccer for kids of all ages. The Mighty Kicks website offers additional articles and resources.
  • Soccer Coaching Videos: This video library from USYouthSoccer.Org has a large number of soccer drills and coaching videos available online at any time.
  • A Kid's First Soccer Site : This site promotes soccer as a life-long sport that supports family bonding, life-long friendships and teamwork. It has many excellent resources and tips to help young people stay healthy and active.
  • Fun Soccer Drills for All Ages: These drills will provide soccer players of all ages plenty of practice and fun!
  • Coaching Soccer 101: Soccer Drills: These drills are designed for specific age groups and detail the skill focused on in the exercise.
  • Free Soccer Drill Videos: Soccerpilot offers free drill videos and other resources for youth soccer coaches.
  • Soccer Drill Resources For U8 Players: This page stresses the importance of drills being age appropriate. A large number of drills and tips are to be found in this soccer development library.
  • Fun Soccer Drills: Keep your soccer practice fun with these age appropriate drills that develop skills and endurance!
  • Age-Appropriate Training Sessions : The importance of age appropriate training sessions. Eight weeks of pre-planned sessions are available on video with printable diagrams to take to the field.

General Health and Exercise Resources

  • Operation Fit Kids: Free information and resources for promoting healthy, active lifestyles for kids through physical and nutritional education.
  • Fitness Activity Ideas for Children: Football and other team sports are just some ways to encourage kids to be active. For other tips and ideas check out this Fitness for Children website.
  • Let's Move More! : Easy to implement tips and strategies to encourage families to get more active.
  • Eat & Move O-Matic: An easy-to-use app designed to teach children how the foods they eat serve as fuel for the activities they enjoy. Teaches youth how even small changes can lead to positive changes in their health and fitness levels.
  • Obesity: Nutrition and Exercise: This PDF brochure by John Hopkins School of Medicine explains the unquestionable link between obesity, nutrition and exercise.
  • BAM! Body & Mind : The interactive resources on this CDC website are designed to make children aware of the connection between a physically active body and an active learning mind.
  • Nutrition Tips for Young Athletes: Resources for helping youth understand the importance of good nutrition for optimal fitness can be found on this page.
  • The ABC's of Changing Nutrition for Children : These ABC's are meant to encourage children to Act Boldly to Change Diet and Exercise. This is a great resource for parents and children.
  • Presidential Youth Fitness Program: The Presidential Youth Fitness Program is an excellent global resource for supporting youth fitness. They offer schools and students free access to fitness assessment.

Find more about the author: Kim Hart

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