C.J. Mahaney wrote an insightful article on the benefits & dangers of involving your child in recreational & competitive sports. Here’s a quote:
My son is not only familiar with my love for sports, he is also
aware of my idolatrous devotion to sports prior to my conversion. For
me, participation in sports growing up was a means of self-exaltation.
But I want my son to glorify God and not himself when he plays. So from
a young age I have sought to protect him from emulating my past sinful
example while building into his soul an appreciation for playing sports
as a gift from God. I attempted to address this topic in chapter twelve
of Humility: True Greatness.
Playing sports holds great potential for growth in godliness for our
sons, but only if we as fathers lead our sons theologically and
strategically. I fear that all too often our sons devote significant
time to playing sports with little growth in godliness. Here is where
the example and leadership of a father can make all the difference. It
is our responsibility as fathers to teach and prepare our sons with
biblical priorities prior to a game (or practice) and not to assume
that we have fulfilled our fatherly responsibility simply by attending
the game. And after the game, we should encourage and celebrate
evidences of godliness and not primarily our sons’ athletic ability or
achievements. Our priorities for our sons’ participation in sports must
be theologically informed priorities rather than culturally celebrated
priorities. Fathers who aren’t theologically informed are more
impressed with athletic ability, statistics and final scores than they
are biblical masculinity and godly character.
Read the whole article, for he gives practical advise on the conversations you should have with your children if you want to nurture godliness through athletics. "…Participation in sports is temporary and meant to be preparatory." If you are not redeeming sports for godliness, heed his strong cautions against the danger of self-exaltation and idolatry that are natural to our hearts.