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.)
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
For more youth tennis programs, type in your zip code at the USTA's site.
Jr. golf clubs are fit by height, not age, with sizes for kids 3’1” and up.
Where to learn golf
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.
A standard balance beam measures 4.07 ft. high, 16 ft. long and 3.9 in. wide.
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.
All body types can participate in this ancient sport, with weight classes from 40 lbs. up to 285 lbs.
Where to learn to wrestle
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
Once figure skaters master the basics, they’re taught 6 jumps, done in single, double and triple variations.
Where to learn to figure skate
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
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
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
9 belts show skill level: white, orange, yellow, purple, green, blue, red, brown, black.