How to know which sport your kids should take up
Most kids start showing interest in sports and outdoor activities very early on, either inspired by their sport-loving parents whom they see as role-models, or their schools offer various programs which they’d like to try out. The beauty of such curiosity is that they will likely be willing to test the waters of many different activities before they set their hearts on their final choice.
However, we as parents often find ourselves in the conundrum of considering their safety, or how talented they truly are for a given sport. Given that there are many factors and that kids really ought to be encouraged to take part in physical activities regularly, let’s delve deeper into the matter, for all the parents who want to find the best possible sport for their little ones!
Make time for a check-up
Now this is something every parent will eagerly do at the very beginning of their sport-seeking adventures! A thorough examination at your family doctor will help you establish if your child may be too young to enter a certain sport, if they might experience difficulties, or if they should work on certain health and skill issues before joining a team or learning a skill.
Sometimes, kids end up getting hurt in the early stages of exploring a sport, simply because they might have an underlying issue. For example, balance problems can be improved and worked on through specific exercises, and the doctor might even recommend a sport that can help with that or similar problems.
One-on-one learning for introverts
Although most kids are naturally inquisitive and eager to try new things, the embarrassment threshold for introverts may differ, as they’d feel uncomfortable suddenly joining a team or spending time with kids they don’t know.
To make it easier for your shy nestlings to open up and discover a sport they would enjoy, why not be their side-kick? You can search for different sports online, watch videos and give it a go in your own home. Perhaps a one-on-one basketball game in your backyard or learning a new skill together will help them leave their cocoon.
Explore through fun
Maybe your kids still don’t show that much enthusiasm for sports per say, or you’re having trouble getting them off the couch, but not to worry, there’s so much you can do to get them inspired! Family fieldtrips into nature are perhaps one of the best ways to get them far away from the screens and techy gadgets, and spend time playing football, volleyball, fishing, biking in the woods and hiking.
You can also take them to various amusement parks where they can try indoor jumping and spend time with you or their best friends improving their agility, strength and even break a sweat if they are truly enjoying themselves! Who knows, that might encourage them to try a martial art such as capoeira, karate or taekwondo, or at least serve as a way to get them to become more active.
Listen to their impressions
There are kids who speak their minds loud and clear, in fact, you’d have more trouble convincing them to shush when the situation requires it. But there are also the quiet types who show a preference for speaking in code very early on, together with that poker face, preventing you from figuring out what they truly want.
When you take them to practice, try to watch a session or two to see how they behave, ask the coach for their input and encourage your kids to talk with you more. Maybe it will take time to see what suits them best, but honest conversations and direct insight will be the best clues towards a specific sport.
Mix and match
Most importantly, give your kids the chance to join multiple teams, to try out various activities in order to find what makes them happy, helps them develop healthy habits, teaches them responsibility and discipline, and at the same time fulfills your safety standards.
Think outside the box, maybe your little ones aren’t too excited about team sports, and would prefer athletics, biking, skiing, or they could discover that they’re in love with music, and start taking dance lessons! But whatever their first sport of choice ends up being, keep in mind that they can always switch to something else if their talents and passions lie elsewhere.