By JESSICA DANIELS
In recent weeks, the Cherokee Recreation department held its first Start Smart Basketball program for children between the ages of 3-5. A total of 50 child/parent groups registered for the first session and weekly participation has been awesome! Not only are the participants receiving sport specific skills, they are also getting quality time with those they love.
The Start Smart programs were designed by the National Alliance of Youth Sports (NAYS), the nations leading advocate for positive and safe sports and activities for children. The idea for Start Smart programs was based on studies showing that 49% of children who participate in organized sports do not have the minimum motor skills necessary to be successful.
Teaching children proper technique and guiding them through mastery of those skills will prepare children for more complex sports skills later on. We cannot expect children to develop essential sport motor skills on their own, but we can turn to developmentally appropriate activities such as Start Smart programs to direct that growth.
Jennifer Standingdeer and her daughter Charleigh participated in the first Start Smart Program, she relates, “Smart Start is simply a smart choice, getting our younger children involved and equipping them with the right tools to achieve overall success, whether the motivation is to make them a star sportsperson or simply keeping them active and moving, way to go Cherokee Life Program, awesome job.”
Start Smart introduces children and their parents to basic sports mechanics in a fun, non-threatening environment. Sessions are held once a week for six weeks. If your child has never played a sport, or you feel you have a 4-year old prodigy, this program is for you. This program is safe, fun, non-competitive, fundamental driven, and creates one-on-one engagement with your little ones.
Kaden Stephens and his parents Jake and Ahli-sha were also participants, Ahli-sha comments, “Smart Start Basketball was an awesome introduction to basketball for my son. He learned the fundamentals in creative ways that I never would have thought about teaching him. I would recommend any parent with a young child to start out with this program not only is it a great learning opportunity, but, also another great way to bond with your child.”
Start Smart Programs will be offered throughout the year for any child ages 3-6 in the following sports: football, basketball, and baseball/softball. Info: Birdtown Gym 554-6891 or email@example.com. You may also follow on Facebook at Cherokee Life Recreation.