Rugby 4 year old too young?

(11 Posts)
madeit Sun 01-Sep-13 18:19:16

My child attended rugby for under 6s off and on last season. There are about 30 kids in this age group - boys and girls. The children play little games that involve following simple instruction and stamina. They also take part in races.It is reasonably well organised and professional. Last season my son was ok for the first 10 minutes or so and then became stroppy and disgruntled and then wouldn't participate. The 'rugby' lasts about 40 minutes. I took him back for his first session today and it was a nightmare. He joined in with the games but was stroppy and aggressive during relay type activities. I felt really upset by the end and so did he.
I am taking him because I come from a rugby background and more importantly he is an only child without a father figure and I thought this would mean seeing men (the dads come) participating in sport and being in a social setting with lots of children were he learns to take turns and follow simple instruction. The sessions costs about £140 for the seasonso it isn't cheap. Do I persevere? My instincts tell me too as I suspect it isn't his age which is making it frustrating. I don't know how to handle him when he is stroppy and wonders off. I encourage him and give him lots of praise but to be frank his behaviour makes my blood boil and is extremely stressful. The other kids pretty much without exception seem to take part after some initial nerves and enjoy it. Anyone had similar experiences or can offer ideas?

Rockchick1984 Sun 01-Sep-13 20:01:43

My mum was determined that I was going to do horse riding when I was younger, and made me go despite me not enjoying it. Means now I can't stand anything to do with it despite some of my best friends owning horses, and socialising with people who are often at shows etc.

So no, if I were you, I'd stop if he's not enjoying it, otherwise you risk putting him off for life.

Does he enjoy watching rugby, could you take him to some matches instead?

MrsPnut Sun 01-Sep-13 21:04:22

My daughter plays rugby and has done since she was 4, some weeks she's flying and some weeks she acts like she's never picked up a ball in her life.

I'd maybe see if there is a different team you can join, ours costs far less than £140 a season because it may be that a different coach can make all the difference.
Are parents encouraged to join in, our U6 parents are and it really helps with the kids becoming confident. Do you use a rugby ball a lot at home? We have a foam one that we can chuck about all the time and play some of the games that she plays at training. All of this helps to increase confidence and encourage ball skills. Finally, try speaking to the coach, I know ours have been brilliant when they knew that dd2 was struggling and gave her the player of the week trophy as a booster.

SuperiorCat Sun 01-Sep-13 21:12:43

Please stop this. You are pushing it and getting frustrated and he is showing that he is not enjoying it by his behaviour.

Sport should be fun and enjoyable. This sounds like neither.

BashfulBunny Sun 01-Sep-13 23:10:49

This sounds like a silly question, but what does your ds say? If you present it in a way that reassures him it's ok if he wants to stop, can you ask what it is that he's not enjoying any more?

fasparent Mon 02-Sep-13 01:55:22

Being an ex coach of some significance suggest you try an athletic club 1st , this will give a far better all round perspective improve motor skills
and encompass far more disciplines than any sport at this age , there will be plenty of time later for HIM too decide which sport he actually wants too do. Lots of youngsters I coached moved on too other sports , seen many, many youngster's that have excelled too national status over the years. ,
Best they have fun and enjoy at this age and any age.

madeit Mon 02-Sep-13 06:42:00

Thanks the comments have given me alot to think about and I am doing a lot of soul searching. It is certainly making neither of us happy and my son and his wellbeing is my top priority. Fasparent I live in south west London. If I try an athletic club can you give me some tips on choosing a good one or is it a matter of trying it and seeing how it goes. I really would like the experience to be fun and enjoyable for both of us. Perhaps it has been a wake up call for me.

SuperiorCat Tue 03-Sep-13 23:01:48

TBH finding a "good" club would not be my priority for a 4yo - assuming you mean one that really brings them on, particularly as he doesn't seem keen.

Ask the parents of his school friends which rugby / football / whatever sport club they go to and ask him if he wants to go.

fasparent Thu 05-Sep-13 16:48:37

With any club best is too visit and try out, see what they do, look at Child protection issue's, Quality of coaching staff and CRB's . More important is your child enjoying it, sound out other parents look at the social issues , all our kids used too play together before we started coaching, even when we coached it was only for an hour a lot taken up with exercises , Developing Co ordination , motor controls, etc are more important at this age, also plenty of time left after the sessions for additional play which develops team work . ALSO time FOR PARENTS too chat and socialise or become involved.

Good luck

mummyxtwo Fri 06-Sep-13 14:26:14

I think that club activities are great, and help with concentration skills and learning to take instruction and interact with their peers, but you can't force it and it must be something they enjoy. My ds1 is 4.9yo and goes to football classes, which he loves. When he started at the age of 3.5yo his concentration was appalling and he kept running off to poke the gym equipment at the other end of the hall, but he seemed to be enjoying himself! He is much improved now and loves having a kick around. If he hadn't enjoyed it we would have stopped it. I'm not a fan of rugby personally, with it being a full-on contact sport and therefore not suiting some children, particularly if slender or timid. But that is probably in part my own background, because we've always been into football in our family. And possibly because I live in Wales, where rugby reigns, and as a doctor I have seen a fair few children with their front teeth knocked out and other injuries from rugby. I have friends whose lo's go to gymnastics - boys and girls - which they love. There are a couple of gyms near us which do sessions for small children and they seem to have loads of fun playing on the equipment and being helped to jump on trampolines and do forward rolls. Does your ds have any friends who go to classes in something he might like to join? It might help for him to have a friend there. Or just ask him what he would like to do, and see what he comes up with.

MrsPnut Fri 06-Sep-13 19:55:07

Mummy - rugby is non contact until children are in year 4, and even then it is a pretty gentlemanly sport.

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