If you’ve ever spent time with a parent who is nervous about their child participating in sports, you probably know what we’re talking about. Sports can be a lot of fun, but it can also create anxiety for parents who worry about sports injuries, their child’s athletic capabilities or the possibility that their kid might not make it to the team. Luckily, there are so many children’s sports and activities to keep kids active and interested in sports all year long. So introducing your kid to sports isn’t nearly as scary as it seems, it doesn’t necessarily mean forcing them into something they don’t enjoy or isolating them from their friends. In fact, introducing your child to sports is one of the simplest ways you can help them develop a lifelong love of physical activity. Here's how:
Talk to Your Kid First:
Before introducing them to sports, talk to your child about your feelings about sports and ask them what they think. You can also try reading some books or articles about hobbies your child might be interested in, so you can briefly talk about them and see if there is any interest. If your child is interested in playing a sport, you can ask for their help in finding local programs and getting them involved. If your child is less interested in outdoor sports, you can ask them if they might like to engage in indoor sports or activities and try to help them find activities that fit their interests.
Try a Game Before You Try a Sport:
Many kids get nervous when they first get involved in sports and are looking to be pushed by their parents. As a parent, you can ease some of those nerves by starting with a game or activity that allows your child to learn and have fun at the same time. Try introducing your child to a variety of sports and activities, and see which ones they show interest in. Sports like soccer, baseball, tennis, golf, basketball, badminton, and hockey are great ways to start because they are easy to learn and can be played with just about any pair of shoes and a ball. Make sure to try each one with your child to see what they like best.
Help Your Child Find What They Enjoy:
If you’re trying to introduce your child to sports, you can start by getting them involved in a few different sports and activities. Once you’ve gotten a feel for what your child likes, you can start getting them more involved in the sports that really catch their interest. Sports like tennis, soccer, hockey, basketball, and baseball are great to get your child started in because they can be played by just about anyone. You can also try to help your child find sports that they can excel at, like gymnastics, figure skating, and golf. This way, they’ll have an easier time finding a sport that they’re interested in, and you’ll have an easier time finding a way to get your child active.
Don’t Be Afraid to Ask For Help:
Kids are busy, and they have a lot on their plates. It can be scary to try and introduce your child to sports, but it’s also important not to do it all on your own. Talk to your child’s teachers and other parents at school about any resources they might have to help get your child involved in sports. Community centers, gyms, and other facilities often have programs for kids to get involved in sports. You can also ask your child’s friends for help getting them involved in sports. Kids are often more likely to want to get involved if they’re doing it with their friends.
Take It Slow:
As you introduce your child to sports, make sure you take it slow and make it fun. A lot of parents take their kids to a game or try to get them involved in a sport all at once, but this can be overwhelming for kids. Instead, try introducing a few different sports at a time, and see which ones you and your child enjoy the most. If your child is reluctant to try a particular sport, try introducing it with a game first to get their feet wet.
Fortunately, introducing your kid to sports doesn’t have to mean forcing them into something they don’t enjoy or isolating them from friends. In fact, introducing your child to sports is one of the simplest ways you can help them develop a lifelong love of physical activity. It just takes a little preparation, a willingness to try new things, and patience. With a little preparation, patience, and a lot of fun, kids can make a splash in sports like soccer, swimming, tennis, baseball, basketball, gymnastics, and more. Make sure to find a sport or activity that your child is interested in and that fits their skill level. And remember, don’t be afraid to ask for help from their teachers, coaches, and other community members.