Playing sports offers many benefits to kids that range from improved physical health to increased self-confidence. However, it can take a little extra effort to get kids off the couch and onto the field. If your kid is taking some time to warm up to the idea of playing a game, then try these strategies to encourage them to develop a love for sports that will last a lifetime.
Attend a Live Sporting Event
The ambiance at a sporting event is enough to get anyone excited. Let your child pick a favorite sport and arrange to watch it live. As they watch professional football, baseball or basketball players show off their skills, kids will be inspired to practice and improve their own skills. Keep in mind, however, that watching slightly older kids play can also be inspiring. Attend a high school gymnastics or track meet or football game so your kids get the opportunity to see what their future can hold.
Try New Sports at Camp
For some kids, it is all about finding the right sport. Camp is one place where your child can be exposed to a variety of new sports, many of which might not be possible in your community. For example, your child may love water sports such as wakeboarding or skiing, and being near a lake is the only way to find out. Alternatively, they could prefer gymnastics or rock climbing and heading to camp gives them the equipment and coaches they need to experiment until they find a favorite sport.
Kids thrive on praise, and it is important to acknowledge your child’s efforts as they learn how to play sports. Take some time to watch them practice and cheer when they make a basket or score a soccer goal. Start a special tradition after every game to celebrate your child’s efforts during the competition such as enjoying a special dinner or taking a picture for their scrapbook.
With a little bit of encouragement, your child will find the sport that gets them excited about practicing. Exposing your child to new sports also provides a chance for them to learn new skills and build friendships. By making practice sessions and competitions positive experiences, your child will be looking forward to playing their sport every day.