Peter that is a great question. My son is a competitive gymnast at age 7. This year was his first year competing. They train 3 days a week 3 hours a day. He is good, who knows if he would ever be olympic or scholarship good but that is not the direction he wants to go. I doubt he will be the right size anyway as I am over 6' 1" and the men in my wifes family are all huge.
This was the first spring season since he was 4 that he hasn't played baseball (conflict with gymnastics competitions). He will play fall baseball with his cousins and friends and we won't worry about missing time at gymnastics. He also just did his first triathlon which is pretty funny because it is basically what I did as a kid every single day of the summer. Get up ride my bike to the pool, swim my brains out, go play soccer or chase my friends all over the fields than ride home. No wonder I like doing Triathlon so much.
He has been watching me with my o-lifting for the last couple of months and has been doing the Burgener warmup with my Jo. I ordered him a 5 KG bar from Pendlay. His younger sister also wants to be a weight lifter she is 5. The last 3 Saturdays have been testing days so I watch videos off youtube of Olympic lifters to get pysched and he watches with me. He didn't know that I had ordered the bar and we were walking into a store last night and he said "Dad I want to be a champion weightlifter". He has never said he wants to be a champion anything and all he can talk about is wanting to play football (we want let him until he is much older). So I said okay you can do it.
So I guess what I am saying in my long and rambling post is that I agree with Larry completely and I think that the Germans had it right with their well rounded athletes. Play, leadership and sportsmanship are the best lessons a child can learn through sports. Too few make to division 1 or above and many at a too great of a cost. One of our coaches wanted to have Jr switch to a gym in Orlando that trains morning and night 5 days a week. I said no way! He is a kid let him enjoy his life.
What we think, or what we know, or what we believe, is in the end, of little consequence. The only thing of consequence is what we do. -John Ruskin