Your child is a fan of horseback riding, playing football and other demanding physical activities but you don’t know if he/she’s old enough or if there are any contraindications? Here we try our best in identifying the most urgent parents’ questions and answer them in a detailed fashion.

My child wants to pony

Starting at what age?

Not before the age of four as the child is yet to have the necessary balance to hold properly on the saddle.

What benefits?

Pony riding has an educational function for children who have trouble channelling their energy. They will have to show patience, humility, and respect. From the physical point of view, this strengthens the musculature of the back, lower limbs, and posture.

Any drawbacks?

Allergy to straw and potential vertebrae pain.

What complementary sport?

Swimming in order to develop the cardiovascular and respiratory system.

My child wants to play football

Starting at what age?

6 to 8 years.

What benefits?

Football teaches socialization and respect for others. It’s all about high energy expenditure and requires endurance.

Drawbacks

Football prioritizes the footwork at the expense of the upper limbs and the back. There are some risks related to the growth cartilage (the hump under the knee, the cartilage on which the tendon and the muscle attach, especially when it contracts too violently).

Which complementary sports?

Tennis and handball in order to work the upper body.

My child wants to do judo

Starting at what age?

Before the age of 6, it mainly promotes the psychomotor (postural and gestural control) and relational awakening of the small judokas. From the age of 6, they start technical education.

What benefits?

Judo is a sport based on self-control and respect for others; a sport of balance, strength and flexibility.

What are the disadvantages?

Judo can cause back pain.

Which complementary sports?

Swimming in order to stretch the back, bike riding and athletics for outdoor sports.

My child wants to take part in dancing classes

Starting at what age ?

6 years old.

What benefits?

It requires concentration, listening, flexibility and body harmony. Dance allows you to learn your surrounding space (mirror, teacher, comrades) and to acquire the sense of balance.

Drawbacks

Intensive practice can cause joint and lower back pain.

Any complementary sport?

An outdoor sport and an endurance activity (like swimming).

My child wants to play tennis

Starting at what age?

It is at around 8 years that the child begins to master the racket. In the face of the opponent, the player tries to outdo himself by dint of will and perseverance.

What benefits?

Tennis involves all the muscles of the body, it develops the sense of observation, the notion of anticipation and trajectory.

What are the drawbacks?

Gestural repetitiveness can be at the origin of chronic painful pathologies that affect growth cartilages in the youngest age groups.

What complementary sport?

An endurance sport to stimulate breathing abilities (athletic swimming).