There are so many reasons to encourage your kids to get into sport. It’s not only the obvious health and fitness benefits though; sport can play a huge part in developing children’s confidence and social skills too. So, what are the best ways to ease your kids into sport? Here are five top tips to help you out.
Open up opportunities:
- One of the best ways to encourage children to get involved in sports is to let them try different ones. Take them to taster sessions, talk to them about what they’re interested in, and give them the space to make decisions about the sports they want to play. Don’t be pushy though, as that can be a one-way ticket to putting them off.
Take part yourself:
- If there’s a sport that you play yourself, that can often be a good starting point. Whatever it is you play, this is a chance to get your child or children to try something new. It’s great for bonding too; just be careful to water down your competitive side. For example, starting off with easy cricket games that involve just two or three of you can be great fun and less intimidating than going to a training session or game with lots of kids.
- Whether you’re playing with them or watching them take part, focus on the positives. Praise them for their efforts as much as their achievements. That connection between hard work and praise can be very motivating and can play a huge part in maintaining enthusiasm.
Try team sports:
- Team sports are great for easing kids into sport. The experience of being part of a group and working towards common goals helps develop interest and lead to long term commitment. Confident kids will often be happy jumping into a game with strangers, whereas more shy children may prefer to take part with a friend or two at first.
You can also start the process yourself. As we mentioned, games involving small numbers can be the perfect platform for kids to start with, before moving onto to full games. If you’d like to know more about the benefits of easy cricket games, just click here.
Ask the right questions:
- Talk to your kids about the sports they are involved in or want to be involved in. Rather than pushing them towards something you think they might be interested in, ask what they’d like to try. Also, after they’ve been to session, find out how they feel about it. Was it enjoyable? What did they learn? Do they want to go again? The more engaged you are with their experience the more likely they are to let you know what they want to play in the long run.
As with anything involving kids, encouragement and perseverance are two key factors when it comes to easing kids into sports. Give these top tips a try and not only will they be reaping the benefits, they’ll be having great fun too.