Austin is one of the fastest-growing cities in the United States for a good reason. Aside from the vibrant art scene, Austin has many family-friendly athletic activities for children to enjoy. Here are seven youth sports groups and activities with many participants in the Austin area.
Football is kind of a big deal in Texas, but many new parents are hesitant to let their kids play the aggressive sport at such a young age. Austin’s 7v7 Flag Football league is a much safer alternative, providing coed divisions for fifth and sixth graders as well as an Elite division for the more competitive kids.
This flag football league is just part of the i9 Sports organization, a multi-sport youth group with over 3.5 million participants in communities across the country. Other i9 leagues are also available in the Austin area, but flag football is the most popular sport.
ATX Ballers Youth Sports is a new organization established in 2017 by a former basketball coach, but its services have since expanded to include soccer and track and field. It offers after-school programs, individual lessons and summer camps for two age groups — 4 to 13 and 14 to 18. The coaches have impressive resumes and even some professional experience, so the group’s rapid growth should come as no surprise.
ATX Ballers also stands out because of its scholarship program and partnerships with local businesses. It welcomes families of all income levels and is willing to adjust its prices so all young athletes in the Austin area can participate.
iKids U is a youth organization with multiple locations in Austin that offers after-school and summer camp programs. The programs contain the usual mixture of outdoor games, snacks and trips to the community pool, but iKids prides itself on its enrichment classes that stimulate the mind and body.
These enrichment classes teach kids about art, music, computer skills, creative writing, drama and other educational topics. There are even courses for everyday household activities like cooking and gardening. Parents can choose between group classes and one-on-one settings, which ensures that every kid gets properly tailored care and attention.
Texas has one of the best MMA scenes in the country and a neverending supply of talent, so naturally, Austin has many youth MMA activities to choose from. Here are a few popular gyms and martial arts disciplines in the area:
Signing your kid up for MMA might sound crazy, but it’s not as dangerous as you think for the younger age groups. Everyone is still learning the fundamentals and teachers focus more on defense than offense. The earlier someone starts, the better.
Texas hasn’t been as receptive to the growth lacrosse has seen in other states. The Central Texas Youth Lacross Association (CTYLA) is looking to change Texans’ mentality about lacrosse, supporting the sport’s development through camps, clinics and travel teams.
Twenty-one teams in Central Texas make up the CTYLA, including Austin Youth Lacrosse – the main feeder program for Austin’s high school lacrosse scene. The league has also partnered with USA Lacrosse to pay homage to the Indigenous communities that taught the game and invest more resources into the sport’s growth.
Champions Westlake is one of Texas’s best youth gymnastics centers, run by Austin resident and former University of Texas gymnast Gretchen Huddleston. It has a recreational program for preschoolers and many competitive programs for grade-schoolers, including cheer, tumbling and even parkour.
Westlake is also quite the host, accommodating summer and winter camps, birthday parties, open gyms and private lessons. If you live in Austin and your child wants to get into gymnastics, Champions Westlake is the place to go.
Freestyle Sports LLC is a basketball-focused youth sports group, but it also provides sport-specific workouts for soccer, volleyball and personal fitness. The experience is 100% unique, with a team of professional trainers and an emphasis on European-style basketball that puts creativity and decision-making skills above other facets of the game.
Most activities get split into coed groups — ages 5 to 9, ages 10 to 12, and going up to high school seniors. Clinics, private lessons and summer camps primarily occur at the Cedar Park location in northern Austin, so you won’t have to travel far to get the full Freestyle Sports experience.
As obesity, heart disease and other health conditions become more prominent among America’s increasingly sedentary adult population, the nation’s youth must develop active lifestyles early on. These seven groups and activities have helped achieve that goal in the Austin area, letting kids play all kinds of sports and become healthy, happy individuals.
About the Author
Mia is a health and wellness writer and the Editor In Chief at Body + Mind. She specifically enjoys writing about women’s fitness, as well as mental health-related topics. When she’s not writing, Mia can usually be found reading poetry, taking a dance or cardio class, or hiking.