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    #185454 - 03/21/14 06:00 AM If your child is gifted with a sport/instrument...
    ultramarina Offline

    Registered: 08/24/10
    Posts: 3428
    ...or similar, and loves it, how much time per week do you permit/encourage him or her to devote to it? I include practice, play, lessons, etc.

    Age would be helpful here as well as reasoning.

    #185460 - 03/21/14 07:06 AM Re: If your child is gifted with a sport/instrument... [Re: ultramarina]
    NotSoGifted Offline

    Registered: 04/14/12
    Posts: 448
    My kids are not gifted at sports, but they do play them. My two older ones play softball. Last year, when they were both in high school, they played for school and on a travel team (well, different travel teams in different organizations, which just makes schedules tough).

    In the late spring, when both are going on, they would have HS practice and/or games 2 hours a day, M-F. Travel would be 1 or 2 practices a week, 2 hours each. Travel involves tournaments on the weekends, which means a minimum of 4 games. It is an all day Saturday thing, then hopefully all day Sunday (single elimination, keep winning and keep playing).

    So in late spring, they probably practice anywhere from 10-15 hours a week, and play 5-8 games per week.

    Winter is easier, usually just 3 or 4 practices (indoors) a week. And maybe a one hour batting lesson.

    I will also say that this is a minimum for the sport. Some kids devote a lot more time to it.

    Middle kid also plays volleyball. I'm not going to count those hours too because she no longer plays club, just HS.

    #185461 - 03/21/14 07:06 AM Re: If your child is gifted with a sport/instrument... [Re: ultramarina]
    playandlearn Offline

    Registered: 11/14/08
    Posts: 309
    DS13 is a wonderful musician, he probably puts in 15 hours a week for lessons, practices, ensembles, theory and composition work, etc. In terms of academics, he is not learning much at school so he does lots of academic stuff at home--online courses and projects, so this makes his day very uneven--too relaxed at school and a lot to do at home. He has chosen a high school that is academically strong (the strongest in our area) so we hope he will actually do some solid academics in school in high school, and this will enable him to keep all the music studies (and all the other community affairs and volunteering activities that he is involved in).

    DS9 is also a wonderful musician, she puts in about 10-15 hours a week. She is also a little actress, doing theatre work maybe 3-4 months a year. Within those 3-4 months, the time she spends on theatre is probably 150 hours. Things might change when she goes to middle school and there is more academic work--right now she hardly needs time for the homework from school and she is a few grade levels ahead anyways, so we let her spend as much time as she wants/needs on music and theatre.

    Edited by playandlearn (03/21/14 07:12 AM)

    #185471 - 03/21/14 08:23 AM Re: If your child is gifted with a sport/instrument... [Re: ultramarina]
    HowlerKarma Offline

    Registered: 02/05/11
    Posts: 5181
    DD has done three things that seriously.

    1. Dogging, as Jon puts it. This one is year-round, and it's a minimum of 6 hours a week, but during the "season" it's a lot more time than that. If she's competing in freestyle and agility as well as obedience and conformation showmanship, then she bumps up the time commitment to about 10 hours a week-- mostly in short bursts, since a dog really can only train hard for maybe 45 minutes at a shot. DD also builds a partnership with her dogs-- the current model, a herder, goes running with her every morning for an hour. That's not training time, that's just "being with me" time for the dog, though DD also works with her (but more subtly). DD started doing this when she was about ten years old. She's put more time into it as she's gotten older-- she also has grooming-intensive dogs, so that's another demand. We do have to remind her about the grooming, which neither she nor the dogs enjoy. wink

    2. Rifle-- this is 6-10 hours a week. This is range time.

    3. Piano-- at (almost) six, she began formal lessons. Practice time was LIMITED at that point to 6 hours a week, and never more than 30 minutes at a time-- in order to protect her from over-use injuries to her hands.

    Now at 14, she SHOULD probably practice about 14 hours a week, but doesn't. More like 5-7 hours weekly, and a lot of that is in short sessions (15min) and is improvisational and "just playing" so not what I'd consider "practicing." I've posted about her love-hate relationship with piano. It tweaks her perfectionistic streak, and she wants to be "perfect" but also wants to eliminate the stimulus that says she IS NOT perfect (ergo-- stopping the inputs that she gets when she sits down and plays).

    None of those things is permitted to interfere with the core things that DD finds personal passions--

    community service/volunteering

    She regulates it pretty well on her own, truthfully.
    Schrödinger's cat walks into a bar. And doesn't.

    #185476 - 03/21/14 09:03 AM Re: If your child is gifted with a sport/instrument... [Re: ultramarina]
    polarbear Offline

    Registered: 09/29/11
    Posts: 3363
    One of our kids is passionate about a sport - I wouldn't say they are gifted, but it's what she loves. She's on a team and practices 4 nights per week, for 3+ hours each night, as well as competing on weekends during the competition season. This isn't the only sport she is involved in either - she dances and is in her school band. Plus she is 2e and has tutoring associated with her challenges after school. She does her school work on Sundays mostly. It's an insanely busy schedule from *my* perspective but it fits her personality perfectly and gives her a really important outlet for dealing with life's frustrations, such as wishing math class was harder and more interesting and also being frustrated because she's challenged with her extra "e".

    Both of my other kids have hobbies and sports they enjoy, but neither one is driven to put so much time into it that I'd think twice about it.

    #185477 - 03/21/14 09:08 AM Re: If your child is gifted with a sport/instrument... [Re: ultramarina]
    Sweetie Offline

    Registered: 06/05/11
    Posts: 669
    14 year old started at 10 club swimming will add high school swimming plus club in the fall.

    His participation has grown over the years.

    Age 10....up to 4 days a week one hour plus once a month meets we started by only doing one day of the meets. Sometimes missed practice for homework/school related activities.

    Age 11...up to 5 days a week, 1.5 hour practices, sometimes missed practices for homework/school. Once a month meets sometimes doing one day sometimes two.

    Age 12...up to 6 days a week 2 hours a day including half hour of dry land training. Once a month meets two days at the meets.

    Age 13-14...6 days/2.5 hours a day which includes 1/2 hour of dry lands. Up to two meets a month and sometimes three days of meet sometimes two.

    During summer last summer he trained with 3days a week two a day practices.

    During high school he will continue to train with the club and just practice a bit with the high school team. The high school coach is okay with that because the club swimmers run over the new to swimming high school kids and the club swimmers get longer training sets with the club that the new swimmers on the high school team couldn't handle.
    ...reading is pleasure, not just something teachers make you do in school.~B. Cleary

    #185479 - 03/21/14 09:13 AM Re: If your child is gifted with a sport/instrument... [Re: ultramarina]
    ultramarina Offline

    Registered: 08/24/10
    Posts: 3428
    Thanks for the input so far. This is regarding DS6 (in K). He would like to increase the time he spends on chess. There are several levels of commitment at his school--short chess club, longer chess club, and a more serious chess club for competitors. He has done the first and second this year, but is pushing for all 3. That would be three afternoons per week (I think about 7 hours? might actually be more 8-9, since one day is very long) plus occasional weekends, though I don't think we HAVE to do all those (I will inquire). He would also like lessons with a coach. A lot of this desire is coming from his exposure to other children who do all these things...but most of these children are significantly older.

    DS absolutely has talent and potential in this area, but I feel a little concerned about a child of his age spending so much time on something like this. At the same time, I don't really know what kids who are seriously committed to a sport/instrument do at his age, since DD has never wanted to get "into" something in this way and we don't tend to run in those circles.

    The ultra-competitive aspect of chess does concern me a little. DS has gotten more "into" this part of it recently. Much is expected of him by his coaches. We had one hard tournament where there were tears and he took one loss hard. But he really wanted to come back to the next one even after I was very clear that we did not care at all if we did so or not. He handled loss much better at that one (although it was a "better" loss). He is currently mad at us for not taking him to various regional and state tournaments in the offing. Again, these have been talked up at his club, so to some extent he just feels left out.

    #185483 - 03/21/14 09:34 AM Re: If your child is gifted with a sport/instrument... [Re: ultramarina]
    lilswee Offline

    Registered: 03/10/09
    Posts: 116
    My 9yo DD is "dogging" @ 3 hrs per week and maybe some weekend activities (with me) as well along with Piano (@ 4-5 hours per week including practice). Also, soccer in the Fall depending on the timing of practice it may delay the dog training which is probably 4-5 hours a week. I don't know that she's gifted at any of them but she likes to try things and I think it's OK to encourage that as long as you aren't driving yourself nuts with schedules (which only you can decide what works).

    My 13 yo tried soccer and guitar at about the same frequency but really didn't find her passion until she started band. She now spends a lot of time on practicing that including during school since she has band for study hall. She gets lots of downtime which has been filled with recreational reading lately....

    #185484 - 03/21/14 09:36 AM Re: If your child is gifted with a sport/instrument... [Re: ultramarina]
    Dude Offline

    Registered: 10/04/11
    Posts: 2856
    Our DD9 is something of an activity butterfly. She doesn't wholeheartedly commit to anything, but she always has different things going on. Currently it's down to gymnastics and Girl Scouts, but she was in a couple of plays over the last three months. She's taking a break from theater and plans to drop Girl Scouts soon. She has expressed an interest in beginning piano lessons (she had previously taken guitar) and has decided to jump back into soccer this year, after having taken the previous year off.

    Our DD was 6 when she started pushing to have more activities, just like your DS is doing now. We warned her that it might be too much, but we did enroll her in enough things that she had one activity a day for at least an hour 6 days a week. It was very easy to let her have that experience, let her learn from it, and then work with her in transitioning to a lighter schedule. Armed with this experience, she largely self-regulates (as you can see above in her method of dropping things before adding), and we let her lead in this within our boundaries of respecting time conflicts, higher priorities, and price limits.

    #185485 - 03/21/14 09:39 AM Re: If your child is gifted with a sport/instrument... [Re: ultramarina]
    Cecilia Offline

    Registered: 01/07/09
    Posts: 159
    Hmmm…I never really thought about the time put in until you asked the question! My son's sport (baseball - he's 15 - wants to play in college) is very competitive where we live, so the time dedicated is not out of the ordinary.

    So here's what I came up with -
    Spring (school ball) - Practice/working out - 30 hours/week with games totaling around 20 hours/week.

    Fall/Winter (traveling national team) - Commuting/practice/working out - 26 or so hours a week. He also travels to at least 4 out of state tournaments a year, including Puerto Rico.

    Summer (VFW team) - Practice/ working out - 20 hours a week with games around 25 hours a week.


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