Last Updated on August 26, 2021.
This guest post on sports and kids has been published on behalf of Eric Tress.
Children need sports for healthy development. As parents, we must encourage our kids to get interested and participate in sports. Ideally, children should enjoy some exercise for at least two hours each day. Playing sports helps them meet these requirements while keeping fit, developing their minds, and interacting with others.
Some kids don’t love sports!
You may wonder why your child is not into sports activities? Well, unfortunately, not all kids love sports.
According to this information, 80% percent of child athletes stop playing sports after age 15. It may be because of a lack of guidance or a demanding schedule that won’t allow them to play the sport they love.
Whatever the reason for your child’s lack of interest in sports, it is your responsibility as parents to guide them on ways of picking and sticking to a sport.
Here are a few ways you can interest your child in sports and make sure they stick to it.
1. Start at an early age
There are sports choices for all ages. Your kids may not be old enough to ride a bike, but maybe they can kick a ball around.
Pick sporting activities that are great for your child’s age and let them get started with those. In time, as they develop, they will move on to others. It keeps you from missing the opportunity to introduce sports to your child at an early age.
2. Allow them to explore
Every child has something they are passionate about and good at. It helps if you can start by spending time with your child and learning about their interests.
Asking your kid to participate in a sport just because you love is not a good long term strategy. You are more likely to successfully keep a child committed to a sport when they choose something they enjoy.
3. Help them to manage their time
Lack of time to participate in a sport can prevent your child from enjoying a sport they love. If you can help your kids manage their schedule well, they will have enough time to work on school assignments, do chores, and still enjoy sporting activities.
Otherwise, if your children can’t manage their time well, they may feel overwhelmed by tasks, drop their sporting activities, or refuse to engage 100 percent.
4. Show them by example
Kids mirror what parents do. If you want them to focus on sports, why not engage in some physical activity with them? Playing basketball as a family may encourage your kids to sign up for the basketball team in school.
If you see an interest in football in your child, play a few games in the yard with them or watch some sports on telly to increase their love for the game. Doing things by example is an excellent way to create great ideas and habits for your kids.
5. Bring in their friends
Kids are likely to do something when they see their friends doing it. If your child has a friend they like who loves a sport like bike-riding, they will likely want to join them.
To get your child interested in sports, encourage them to invite their friends over and play. In school, ask them to join sporting clubs with their friends or support them by watching games. That way, your child will end up in a game they like with people they love, which will ensure they enjoy sports.
6. Visit sports facilities
Children often pick up an interest in sports activities by spending time in recreation and sports centers. These places allow children to use their energy healthily while interacting with kids their age. They are excellent facilities to take them after school or during weekends, especially because you are assured they will be taken care of in case of any sports injuries.
If you have a sports facility in your neighborhood, that’s the right place for your child to spend their free time. Sign them up for a few sessions a week and see how it goes.
7. Understand they will fail
Not all kids are sporty. Some will never find a sport they excel at, no matter how many sports you introduce them to. The key to dealing with such situations is to encourage them to stay fit in other ways. Otherwise, they may feel like a disappointment because you want them to play sports while – no matter how much they try – they can’t.
Try regular ways of keeping fit like taking walks or dancing with them. Such activities will keep them fit if they do them regularly.
Which sport is your child interested in?
The only way to find out your child’s sporting interests is to start speaking to them about it. Using these tips we have given you will help push them in the right direction.
If your children are already playing a sport that they love, that’s great. Encourage them to keep at it for their health and happiness. Participating in sports also sets up your children for a lifetime of healthy habits.
What You Should Do Next…
Are you ready for more activities to build a rock-solid bond with your kids? Try our Connected Parent Challenge! It’s 15 Days of 15 Minute activities that are sure to improve your connection, diminish bad behavior, and create lasting memories. Plus, I’ll deliver more amazing parenting strategies to your inbox weekly (don’t worry, unsubscribe any time!).
Connect with like-minded moms (and dads!) in our free online community. You’ll find a plethora of resources to help you through your parenting challenges. Plus, you’ll find me there! And I’d love to connect.
Do you need actionable strategies right now? Register for this free 60-minute webinar titled How to Get Kids to Listen, Without Nagging, Yelling or Losing Control. You’ll walk away with parent-tested tactics to get your kids to listen starting today.