An Amazing Week of Basketball, Tennis, Rugby, Soccer and Golf

There certainly is lots happening in global sport at the moment - the NBA finals between Stephen Curry's Golden State Warriors and LeBron James' Cleveland Cavaliers; The French Open is reaching its climax; International Rugby tests start this weekend; and The FIFA World Cup and US Golf Open will commence in less than one week.  Lots of TV viewing for parents and children.

Basketball, Tennis, Rugby, Soccer/Football and Golf - sounds just like a typical week for kids at Shaws Little League!

Children’s development - How Do Kids Improve at Sport?

Kids Soccer Singapore

Each of the Shaws Little League kids sport classes focuses on your child’s ongoing improvement, including toddler sport classes.

How do we do this? Three methods we use are active participation, appropriate instructions and child-centred activities. These methods are unique for children's sport in Singapore.

Why is active participation important for children's development? Because it’s about helping the children hit more balls, swing more times and keeping them involved with the game. Whilst watching sport for adults can be fun, when we ask the children, they prefer to play sport rather than watch others play sport. So, we keep the waiting and downtime to the bare minimum during our sport programmes.

Children need not understand the all the technicalities and nuances of sport at this age. Think about the glass jar story – fill it with the big rocks first (the grip, watching the ball, feet movement, swinging hard, fun) and worry about the sand later (top spin, fieldlines, the offside rule). Focusing on the big rocks makes it easier for the children to understand and progress. Their own interest and curiosity will lead them to fill their jar with sand.

We have developed our activities from a child’s perspective of sport – the things that they enjoy and not what we as adults may think they will enjoy about sport - proper rules and instructions, keeping scores, trophies – is not what children enjoy. How do we know this? Because we asked them and continue to ask them what they enjoy. They just enjoy when they are actively involved in the game, being with their friends, learning new skills and can see themselves improving.

We have also done a little bit of research into actual sports games.  In a full game of professional soccer, each player touches the ball on average 40 times (dribbling, passing, shooting, tackling) in 90 minutes. In rugby, elite players on average run with the ball 9 times, tackle 8 times and pass 12 times. That's a lot for a kids sport and that's even more for a toddlers sport class.

Through using active participation for children's sports in Singapore, appropriate instructions and child-centred activities, we are able to get the children to do as much activity as if they were playing in a real game (in a shorter duration, of course). While, at the same time they are having fun, getting fitter, faster and stronger and learning along the way. This way of learning is fun and it is a unique sport method that we use for your kids in Singapore. 

Join us for a multisport session and come see how Shaws Little league is a great way for your child to improve, as you both enjoy the fun.

Singapore Children's Sport: What’s Best Multiple Sports or Specializing?

Children’s sport Singapore

The benefits to children playing multiple sports can quickly be forgotten and pushed aside when you flip through the news and see those rare kids that specialized early and became sport stars and Singapore icons.

However, exposure to a range of sports as a child is invaluable when it comes to encouraging a life-long passion for sports. It’s that inner passion that when planted early will allow our children to grow into active, healthy and well-rounded adults.

Did you know that multi-sport athletes have greater athletic IQs and don’t burn out the way kids do when they are forced too early to pick one sport? Focusing on one sport also risks injuries and burnout, and even more importantly it can kill their love of sports forever.

In addition, recent changes made to the Physical Education curriculum by the Singapore Ministry of Education, requires all Secondary School students to be exposed to six sports per year.

Many of the skills involved in each sport are also transferable – the hand-eye coordination, body rotation, having a stable base, strength, fitness and speed – so does it really matter what sport your child plays at a young age?

One of Shaws Little League’s most popular classes is our multisport programme. The multisport programme exposes children to the following sports – volleyball, tennis, basketball, baseball, rugby, hockey, cricket, soccer, golf and athletics. In each session, children play two sports and the sports change each week.

Participating a multisport programme, like the one offered at Shaws Little League, helps prevent injuries, improves fitness, motivation and confidence. Multi-sport athletes develop into better teammates too. In a class like Shaws Little League, not only is there a focus on more than one sport, but there is an emphasis on having fun just fun for the sake of fun. Simple, plain old-fashioned fun because we all know that children love nothing more than having fun.

As the children develop and progress, the activities in each of the sports change accordingly, the toddler sports (those under 3’s and under 4’s) do many coach-led activities; in the children's sports classes (under 5’s and above), we use modified team games and encourage the children to work together and develop their skills together.

The Shaws Little League multisport programme comprises a wide range of games and activities that allow children to:

  • learn the individual sports skills
  • develop physical confidence and co-ordinated body movements
  • improve their physical fitness and wellbeing
  • develop hand-eye coordination, ball sense and game sense
  • develop teamwork and social skills
  • play in modified games and activities
  • have a stepping stone towards ongoing participation in sport and life
  • develop a competitive spirit and understand about winning and losing
  • understand about fair-play, sportsmanship, and appropriate sports conduct

We base our programme on research that suggests that young children should not specialise in sport from a young age. We specialize in a range of ages, starting with Singapore toddlers in sport all the way to preteens. A lot of expert sports coaches are now of the same view too and instead of getting children to specialize in a sport at the earliest age, they are now recommending multisport programmes instead.  We are sure that the content of our programme meets and exceeds the fundamental movement skills guidelines as well as the basics of each of the sports that we conduct.

Aside from having lots of fun, we also plan our activities to ensure and emphasise maximum active participation for all children.  What this means is that all children are given lots of opportunity to hit balls, catch, throw, kick instead of waiting for their turn as can happen in organised team sports games. The more you play, the more you learn and improve, the more fun you have. It also tires the children out too!

And if one day, your child does decide to specialize in a sport then the fitness, confidence and motivation that they learned can transfer into the skills needed to specialize.

Come try a sport class today with your children. We don’t think you’ll regret it.

Singapore Kids Sport: Winning Vs. Losing

Kids Sport Singapore

It’s time for class and the children are all prepared for sport, feeling confident and expecting to achieve and win.

However, sometimes things don’t go as planned – we may not do as well as expected, someone or some team may perform better and we end up feeling disappointed. This is one of those life lessons that a child can take from the field through their life.

There is a common misconception in sport that effort results in rewards – whilst it is true to an extent, many people do not realize that the other team and other athletes are trying just as hard as we are.  And in most sports – there is always only one winner – think about the Olympics 100m sprint – it is fairly certain that all the athletes in the final have trained hard, prepared, felt confident enough – but in the end, only one Bolt wins. Again, learning to lose, as well as how to win, is something that we teach our kids at Shaws Little League. It is one of children's sport lessons that will stay with them for life as a life lesson.

So, what can we do to help children (and ourselves) overcome this disappointment when things don’t go as planned? As is inevitable, both on and off the field.

At Shaws Little League, we emphasize the following:

– Remember other children are trying just as hard and it may not be possible to win all the time and that’s okay.

– Practice makes for improvement, so our coaches focus on ongoing skill development. Slow but steady can win the race. As long as we never stop getting up, we are winning.

– The score does not matter – but effort does, so we keep the children playing and trying to score goals and hit the ball well.

– Winning is not important, but having the will to win is (again, fall down eight times, get up nine).

– Whether you win or lose, there is always an opportunity next week to do even better, as long we keep showing up. A big part of life is just about showing up and putting in the effort.

At Shaws Little League, we are not trying to find the best young child, or having the winning under 8’s team – very rarely are these things an indicator of whether the children will succeed in the future. Also, these things really don’t matter to a child. We feel that children are more engaged, motivated and satisfied when they are part of a meaningful competition, when they have been given a chance to improve their skills and when they participate actively.

This is how Shaws Little League focuses on the whole child. Come join us for a toddler sport class or a children's sport class and see what we’re all about.

Preparing your Children for Sports Class at Shaws Little League

Toddler sport Singapore

It’s that day again – you can feel the excitement of your children wanting to come and play sport at Shaws Little League in the air – their favourite games, their favourite coaches, wanting to emulate their sporting heroes and show you all just how good they are.

As parents, what can we do to help our toddlers and children have an even more enjoyable time at their Shaws Little League sport class?

We’ve come up with an easy list to help your children perform their best during the children's sports class:

  • Get your children dressed in their fastest, strongest and favourite sports attire (our Shaws Little League vests are probably the best), together with some comfortable shoes (double knotted, if they are lace-ups). And don’t forget to let the children carry their own water bottle, so that they stay hydrated.
  • Ensure that they have a hearty meal/snack at least 30 minutes prior to playing – this can be difficult when coming from school, but think simple – some fruit, a low sugar snack bar and a drink – provides enough calories for the children to get through one of our children’s sports sessions. Depending on your mealtimes, a snack for afterward is appropriate as well.
  • On the way to Shaws Little League – help create the buzz – talk to your children about the sport they will be playing (or even better, let them guess). Give some positive encouragement – “I love seeing you smashing the ball/running hard/trying to score goals, etc.” Anything to get them in the kid sport zone.
  • After their sports session – congratulate your children on their effort, share their sweat (we tell all the children to wipe their sweat on their parents!), talk about anything great, funny or interesting that happened, relax, enjoy the trip home and look forward to your child’s next sports session at Shaws Little League.

See you all soon for more action-packed and sweaty fun at another day in Singapore kids sport!

Engaging with Your Children Through Sport

Children’s sport Singapore

Thanks for sending your children for sports at Shaws Little League for fun and learning here in Singapore - holiday camps too.

You may have read our recent articles regarding preparation, confidence and dealing with winning and losing over the last few weeks.

For this week, I want to share a bit about my personal life and about how I engage with my children through sports and games.

My two children are now aged 11 and 9 and when time and weather permits, we spend an amount of time playing and engaging in sports and games – tennis, golf, cricket, soccer, rugby, just taking a ball to the park, bike rides, jogging/sprinting, family workouts, 8 ball, board games, etc…

I find playing sports and games with my children is very fulfilling and it sure beats checking their homework and school projects. It has also helped me learn and develop a lot as a parent too.

Here are my tips for engaging in sports and games with your child:

–       Play to their level, no need be condescending and belittle them

–       Reward them for effort – giving 100% for a while deserves a victory, right?

–       Children do not need to know how amazing you are or were – they already know you can run faster than them, are stronger than them, smarter than them

–       Live and play by those values that you wish your children to have

–       Children do look up to you – your conduct and behavior and not necessarily your performance – remember this when they are watching you play competitively – how you interact with referees, teammates, disappointment and success

–       Take the game “deep” – it allows more opportunities for practice, thinking and learning

–       Help, mentor and guide them – share your experiences and learnings

–       Sport may not be for everyone but the learning from sport is for all kids

–       Laugh with them, not at them

–       Enjoy the after-match and look forward to the next encounter

–       It’s okay to win sometimes!

See you all at Shaws Little League for more toddler sports fun and big kid sports fun too.

Kids Sport Singapore: Improving Just 1% at a Time

Toddler Sport Singapore

Two weeks ago, we wrote an article about what having fun meant at Shaws Little League. We briefly discussed the factors that make our children’s sports programme fun – participation, improvement, opportunity, not keeping score, effort, engagement, thinking and keeping it real. This week is about how we go about improving your children and it’s not just about sports.

Constant improvements, no matter how small, can win the race. It’s not about getting it perfect the first time, it’s about getting yourself up after a bad day, learning from failure and going back to try again – and maybe this time you’ll see just a little itty-bitty improvement. It’s these little improvements, time after time, that build into big improvements; the big improvements that help to develop your children’s confidence and belief in themselves.

One of our favourite quotes is by sports’ most beloved figures, Vince Lombardi: “Perfection is not attainable, but if we chase perfection we can catch excellence.” That’s exactly what New Zealand did in the America’s Cup Yachting Race, by chasing perfection they achieved excellence and more recently Roger Federer at Wimbledon. This concept is exactly how we treat all of our little sports champions at Shaws Little League.

It’s with this approach that we start our days here at Shaws Little League. Each child has their own natural talents, gifts and abilities. Our interest lies in helping your children improve 1% all the time.

You have all seen your children hit lots of balls off the baseball tee. Whilst it is lots of fun and very tiring hitting so many balls, each of those fun children’s sports moments is an opportunity for the children to improve their hitting skill and coordination. It also provides an opportunity for our coaches to observe your child and offer tangible, relevant and small doses of sports advice that will help your child develop further.

Being able to hit the ball off the tee is not the end goal, we want all of the children to be able to step up to the plate, face our coaches’ fastest pitching arms (we do practice) and imagine what it would be like as an MLB player.

Why do we focus on 1%? Because it is easier for the children to understand. Our sports programme is not about showing you all how knowledgeable and talented our coaches are, but it is about doing appropriate things that will help your children improve. A series of 1% improvements over a period of time makes for quite a high amount of improvement overall.

Imagine if as parents, employers, employees, athletes, coaches we improved 1% each week for a year like our children do in our sports programmes – how good we would be at our chosen sport, profession or even parenting? And how happy and fun would it be to achieve that level of improvement?

See you all soon at Shaws Little League for some Singapore Children's sport fun.

Staying Fit and Healthy This Holiday Season

Staying Fit and Healthy This Holiday Season

It’s that time of the year – the endless holiday parties and celebrations, bubbles, forgetting about your 2017 New Year’s resolutions and all those worries about staying fit and healthy.

So here are some tips from Shaws Little League for staying fit and healthy this holiday season:
– Do some exercise! Anything – run, swim, cycle, go to the gym, dance, stretch, yoga, play sport – at least 30 minutes per day. Something is better than nothing.
– Get active with your kids. Enjoy making some life-long holiday memories and burning calories at the same time.
– Do whatever you enjoy – that way it won’t be a chore and you are more likely to exercise for longer.
– Get the heart rate and the sweat up – push your body a little bit
– If you love drinking alcohol – add 10 minutes of exercise for each alcoholic drink – it could lead to some long exercise sessions!
– Eat! Properly and wisely – fruit and vegetables are also quite nice over the festive period.
– Drink! Some water too!
– Be Merry! No need to watch the scales too much. Just make good decisions.
– And if it gets too hard, always ask yourself… does Santa watch his diet?

Overall, remember no one is perfect. Aim to get right 80% percent of the time and you’ll still turn out with the results you want — while at the same time setting a good example for your kids to follow.

Children’s Sport Singapore: Am I a Tiger Mom?

Children’s Sport Singapore: Am I a Tiger Mom?

There are some that wear the badge tiger mom proudly and others that shy away from it. One of those that protest the label is Judy Murray. Though often labeled a tiger mom by the media she maintains that, “Giving children the freedom to play many sports and have fun is the key to success.” Her youngest son, Andy Murray, is a three-time major champion, double Olympic medalist and former world No 1.

A tiger mom is as common a reference in Singapore as chicken rice and typically refers to an overly strict and demanding mother. A mother that pushes her child to excel academically or physically. It is a type of parenting method that can easily be likened to the Kiasu nature of the nation.

However, many parents fall closer in line with Judy Murray and believe that developing a well-rounded child is more important. And that by giving our children a chance to excel academically, socially and physically, we will give them the overall best advantages in life.

There certainly are pros and cons to each way of parenting. Have you decided which category you fall into? Ask yourself, do you take note of your child’s own interests? Do you follow the tiger mom code: “Get A’s in all subjects except for Drama and PE,” and “Learn how to play piano and one other type of instrument.” Or, do you believe that sports are just as important as maths? Extracurricular activities are no longer just something some kids do — they are something that all kids do and the degree to which parents allow their children to choose their own path will in large part allow them to grow into the adult they want to become.

If you think you might be a tiger mom, then you might take pause to consider that studies have shown that this perfectionist style of parenting can be detrimental to your child, leading to higher levels of depression and anxiety.

Happiness in childhood can take many forms and most of them are about honing their skills while enjoying themselves at the same time. That’s why we know the fun on the field that kids experience at Shaws Little League is invaluable and leads to well-rounded children that grow into well-rounded adults.

Kids sport Singapore: How to Build Your Children’s Confidence

Kids sport Singapore

After preparing your child for sport, how does Shaws Little League go about building your child’s confidence?

Firstly, confidence is knowing that you have the ability to achieve something. It is more than just telling yourself that you can do something.

When working with your children throughout all of our sports activities, our coaches work to help the children make progress regardless of their current ability.

How do our children’s sports coaches do this?

  • Setting manageable and achievable challenges for all children
  • Ensure that equipment is appropriately sized and conducive for skill development
  • Being accurate when throwing/kicking
  • Being encouraging, positive and forward thinking when communicating with your children
  • Focusing on your child’s effort and the “trying” as opposed to the outcome – the outcome is the responsibility of our coaches and not your child!

Each time we see improvements in your child, not only do they become more confident in their ability to play those particular sports, but they also show us that they have the ability to learn and improve.

When your child knows/shows us that they have the ability to learn and improve all the time – they have every right to be confident in whatever they choose to do! This confidence will serve them in all areas of life.

See you all soon at Shaws Little League for some fun!

Featured products

Multisport - Shaws Little League
Our very popular multisport programme exposes children to a wide variety of sports.
Soccer - Shaws Little League Soccer - Shaws Little League
Our soccer programme is developmentally appropriate and it follows the same principles of our multisport programme.
Golf - Shaws Little League
We aim to help each child improve their swing with our advanced golf software.


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