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Individual Sports for Kids

Sports stats & where to learn locally




Team-sport opportunities tend to dwindle during summer, when kids go away to camp and travel with their families. That makes the steamy season an ideal time to hone interest in individual athletic pursuits. Solo sports, like most team sports, instill the development of fine and gross motor skills, hand-eye coordination, agility, endurance and other important physical attributes. Furthermore, they spur the type of self-confidence and independent thinking necessary to compete one-on-one. They also build resilience, as kids learn to deal with winning and losing on their own. Whet their appetite with some interesting stats from the most commonly pursued solo pursuits, then find the right local spot to learn and play. (Remember to check your township's rec program for classes, too.)

Tennis

There’s no confusing “love” scoring in QuickStart tennis for kids 10 and younger. The first to reach 7 points wins.

Where to learn tennis

Pennsylvania: Frog Hollow Racquet Club, Lansdale; Levy Tennis Pavilion, Philly; Tiny Tennis Center, Skippack; The Tennis Farm, Berwyn

South Jersey: Berlin Voorhees Tennis Center, W. Berlin; Cherry Hill Health & Racquet Club, Cherry Hill; Moorestown Tennis Club, Moorestown; RiverWinds, W. Deptford

​Delaware: DuPont Country Club, Wilmington; Marty Godwin Tennis, various locations 

For more youth tennis programs, type in your zip code at the USTA's site


Golf

Jr. golf clubs are fit by height, not age, with sizes for kids 3’1” and up.

Where to learn golf

Pennsylvania: Grant Griffiths Golf, Malvern; The First Tee of Greater PhiladelphiaTee's Golf Center, Conshohocken

South Jersey: Golf Performance Institute, Mt. Laurel; NJ Academy of Golf, Egg Harbor City

Delaware: The First Tee of Delaware, Kent, New Castle and Sussex counties

For more youth golf programs, type in your zip code at the PGA's site.


Gymnastics

A standard balance beam measures 4.07 ft. high, 16 ft. long and 3.9 in. wide.

Click here for a list of local gymnastic programs. For more youth gymnastics programs, type in your zip code at the USA Gymnastics site


Bowling

Bowling ball weight correlates directly to age. A 6-lb. ball for a 6-year-old, 8 lbs. for an 8-year-old and so on.

Where to learn how to bowl

Click for a comprehensive guide to the area's bowling centers. Remember, during the summer, many area bowling centers participate in the Kids Bowl Free program, so take advantage.


Wrestling

All body types can participate in this ancient sport, with weight classes from 40 lbs. up to 285 lbs. 

Where to learn to wrestle

Police Athletic League of Philadelphia; Junior Crusader Wrestling Club, Philly; Atlantic Coast Wrestling, NJ


Swimming & Diving

Kids can compete in all 4 swimming strokes  and start diving on a 5-meter board.

Where to learn to swim and/or dive

Goldfish Swim School, Ft. Washington, PA; Into the Swim, Voorhees & Deptford/Turnersville, NJ; your local Y or pool club


Figure skating

Once figure skaters master the basics, they’re taught 6 jumps, done in  single, double and triple variations.

Where to learn to figure skate

Click here for a comprehensive list of the area's ice rinks.


Running

Keep it to 1.5 miles a week for kids 9 and younger and increase till you reach a half-marathon 13.1 miles for 15+. 

Where to get running

Click here for a comprehensive list of area running clubs. 


Bicycling

No matter how well kids ride, PA law dictates that kids 12 and younger wear helmets. In NJ, it's 17 and younger and in DE, 18 and younger. 

Where to get bicycling

Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia; Bicycle Club of Philadelphia; Central Jersey Bicycle ClubDelaware Valley Bicycle Club


Fencing

The Philly area is a fencing hotbed, with young fencers being taught to use 3 types of weapons: the foil, the epee and the saber.

Where to learn fencing

Delaware Valley Fencers Club, W. Conshohocken, PA; Fencing Academy of Philadelphia; Liberty Fencing Club, Warrington, PA; MR MA Fencing Academy of South Jersey, Cherry Hill, NJ; 


Karate

9 belts show skill level: white, orange, yellow, purple, green, blue, red, brown, black.

Where to learn karate

Click here for links to many of the area's multiple dojos and karate studios.

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