Playing sports helps children develop their motor skills, get exercise in a fun way, make friends, and learn discipline, motivation, and teamwork. Kids who play sports often turn these activities into lifelong hobbies that promote physical and mental wellness, scholarships for college, or even careers in professional or amateur sports or coaching. Here’s everything you need to know about getting your kids involved in sports in the Plano, Texas, area.
Places to Play and Practice
Plano’s Parks and Recreation Department and others in the area manage and maintain dozens of parks with sports fields and courts. Many feature public courts and fields where your kids can have practice, play recreationally with friends, or compete against other players. These parks are great for sports like basketball, baseball and softball, volleyball, soccer, lacrosse, tennis, and more. Here are a few awesome parks in and around Plano and their sporting amenities:
Carpenter Park Recreation Center
The Carpenter Park Recreation Center is a great spot for indoor practice and play. This facility houses two basketball courts, an indoor track, an indoor pool for laps, courts for racquetball, squash, and badminton, and an area to play volleyball. If your young athlete needs a place for weight training and conditioning, the facility’s indoor gym has treadmills, ellipticals, bikes, rowing machines, weight machines, and free weights.
Westwood Park has a selection of outdoor practice and play features for a variety of sports. Let your kids practice their swing or pitching at the baseball/softball backstop. They can practice shooting goals at the soccer goal, spike the ball on the volleyball court, perfect the spin on a football throw, or throw threes at the multiuse court. The open space where the backstop and soccer goal are located is perfect for practicing maneuvers and running drills for baseball, soccer, lacrosse, and more.
Plano West Tennis Courts
There are eight outdoor public tennis courts at Plano West High School. During school hours, the courts are typically closed. But after 4 p.m., you can take your kids over there to practice their serves and backhand as well as run drills.
Located in nearby Richardson is Cottonwood Park. Here your little athletes can play basketball and other sports using the concrete multiuse court. They can also play volleyball on the sand court, practice laps in the swimming pool, and play some tennis on the lighted courts.
Local Sports Leagues
Now that you know where your kids can play, here’s a list of local sports leagues you can enroll your little athletes in:
Plano Sports Authority
The Plano Sports Authority is a nonprofit organization that manages local youth sports leagues in the Plano area. You can go through this organization to sign your child up for basketball, soccer, volleyball, tackle football, flag football, baseball, fast-pitch softball, cheerleading, competitive dance, and more. If your child is involved in a league at school, you can also sign them up for clinics and camps for specific sports so they can hone their skills. And if your child is on a school team, they can still compete in a local league to get more practice and meet new friends.
Plano Lacrosse Association
The Plano Lacrosse Association manages a boys lacrosse league and offers camps and clinics in the sport. They teach boys as young as Kindergarten age how to play lacrosse, and they prepare students to compete on a Plano Senior High School home team. This organization has a team for Plano High School Junior Varsity, grades 7/8, grades 5/6, grades 3/4, and kindergarten through 2nd grade.
Plano Girls Lacrosse
If your daughter is interested in playing lacrosse, then you can go through the Plano Girls Lacrosse organization that hosts clinics for new players and invites both new and seasoned players to play. What separates the girls’ league from the boys’ league is that this is the only lacrosse league for girls in the area. That means your Plano athlete could play alongside girls from Richardson, Garland, and other nearby towns. Plus, the league guarantees that every girl will get a chance to play on the field, so no benching here.
i9 Sports manages local youth sports programs at a few different locations in the area for a couple different sports. They run the travel basketball league at Fowler Middle School for boys and girls ages 4 to 14 years old.
At Old Shepard Park, they host baseball, flag football, soccer, lacrosse, and athletic development drill clinics. All clinics are open to boys and girls, and the baseball, flag football, and soccer instructional programs are for kids ages 3 to 6 years old. Athletes ages 4 to 14 years old can join an age-appropriate flag football league or soccer league. Boys and girls between the ages of 7 and 14 can join the lacrosse instructional program to learn the basics of the game and prepare for more competitive play.
City of Plano Parks and Recreation Swim Leagues
The Plano Parks and Recreation Department has two youth swimming leagues: the Piranhas, who practice at the Muehlenbeck Center, and the Aquaducks, who practice at the Oak Point Recreation Center. This is a great summer sport since kids swim five days a week and can compete in regional meets and earn a spot in the Texas Amateur Athletic Foundation (TAFF)’s Games of Texas. Kids can continue in the fall, winter, and spring, too, with their choice of swimming practice days and competitive swimming events, like the Winter Games of Texas.
Dallas Youth Cricket League
Sign your kids up for the international sport of cricket with the Dallas Youth Cricket League. Boys and girls can join a team and compete at their youth tournaments, which are sanctioned by the USA Cricket organization. Plus, the league also hosts clinics and coaching for any young players interested in learning how to play the sport and play in a future tournament.
Did we miss any of your family’s favorite parks and facilities for practicing or local youth leagues? Let Crème de la Crème of Plano know, and we’ll be sure to add it to our list!