My children played sports; soccer, swimming, baseball. The loved the physical activity! Although we are proud of their achievements in sports, I can't say that either of my boys is the next Tiger Woods. They enjoy, even love sports! Although they have wonderful skills for recreational league soccer, for example, we didn't aspire for greatness in that arena.
Recreational league sports are so fun! They require minimal commitment, and they are less competitive than other teams. There is another way to go: competitive sports teams. Competitive teams (Baseball Little League, high school varsity teams, Select Soccer teams, etc.) are a completely different ball game, so to speak. They require many more hours of practice, games are much farther away, and it has a greater financial commitment as well.
When you look at sports teams, weight your options carefully. If your child is there to have fun, then pursue a recreational league. If your child is passionate and gifted in a sport, then consider a more competitive league. It is not necessary to aspire for greatness when your child merely has potential. Remember, they can always enjoy a sport and excel within their peers on the recreational league. The costs of a competitive sports league can be great, financially and in terms of time. You may want to reserve those experiences only if your child is both gifted AND passionate about the sport.
Look at it this way; my husband loves to play softball. He enjoys playing on our church softball team, where he can have a good day or a bad day, but always have fun. If he were put on a semi-pro adult softball league (yes, that's a real situation – we have had friends on those teams!) then he would be frustrated and feel like a failure. You want your kids to have fun, so make sure they enjoy the situation.
And remember, whether recreational league or competitive league, it can all go on your high school homeschool transcript!
Matt here. I must take exception to Lee's comment above. I am certain I could play softball at a professional level. All I would need is a little more practice...and a smidgen more talent...perhaps a bit more strength, speed and discipline as well. Other than that I'm sure I would do just fine.