Did you know physical activity is as vital in kids as it is in adults?
Research by the CDC shows that kids who engage in physical activity have better cardiorespiratory fitness, strong bones and muscles, and a healthy weight. They are also at a lesser risk of suffering from anxiety and depression.
The American Heart Association recommends children to get at least 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous activity per day. This is best achieved by playing sports in a coordinated and supervised environment.
What if your kids don’t love playing sports? How can you get them to embrace play and enjoy the health benefits?
Keep reading for our five top tips to get your child to love playing sports.
1. Allow You Kids to Choose Sports They Love
When a child enjoys taking part in an activity, they will be more likely to embrace it. Kids quit or show zero excitement when they are forced into playing sports they don’t love.
Therefore, allow your kids to choose a sport that they love and would like to play. They don’t have to join the school soccer or hockey team. They can start with individual sports such as tennis, swimming, dancing, or even karate.
Once your child shows interest in specific sports, cheer them on. You don’t have to be the greatest fan of the particular activity.
If your child doesn’t have any specific activity in mind, try to find out some of the best sports for kids. However, let them be a part of the decision-making process.
Make an initiative to find out more about the activity and how to enroll. Offer all the necessary emotional support, and your child will fall more in love with their chosen sports.
2. Fuel the Passion for Playing Sports
Has your child showed an interest in playing soccer? Fuel the passion by letting them in on the benefits of the sports.
For example, you can watch soccer or football matches with them on TV and let them see how fun it is. You can even get them a jersey of their favorite national or international team.
Also, learn to say positive stuff about the sports your child is interested in. For instance, don’t talk about how games such as football can cause severe concussions.
True, concussions account for at least 15% of all sports-related injuries. However, your child doesn’t have to know this as they may get scared and opt out of sports.
3. Find a Great Sports Coach
The coach you get for your child can make them love or hate sports. A coach who always yells at kids or fails to nurture them causes children to lose interest in sports they once enjoyed.
Take time to research and find the best coach for your child. You can check out this article by BaseballTradingPins.net to learn what is expected of a good league coach.
If possible, talk to other parents whose kids are being trained by a particular coach. What are the parents saying? Do kids love him?
Talk to your child after their first encounters with the coach. If they aren’t happy with him, get a new one. Playing sports should be fun for kids, but this won’t happen if they are always in fear of the coach.
4. Create a Stress-Free Routine for Your Kids
Most kids play sports after school and over the weekend. However, the mere act of adding an activity to their routine can be overwhelming and stressful. Once your child starts to feel overwhelmed, they may detest sports.
Create a practical and stress-free home and school routine for your child. Make it in such a way that sports practice seamlessly fits into their existing routine.
You can take some initiative to make sports less hectic for the child by doing the following:
- Make sure that the sports equipment is ready at all times
- Help your child with homework, especially if they have to do it after sports
- Prepare dinner early so your kid can get enough rest after vigorous physical activity
Finally, don’t take away any leisure activities that your child has been engaging in. For example, if they watch a little TV or play a video game in the evening, don’t take this away from them. Find a way to squeeze in the activity into their routine.
This way, your child won’t view sports as something that’s sucking away the fun from their life. You will also prevent them from trying to sneak in some leisure time behind your back.
5. Provide Incentives for Playing Sports
Kids love rewards, and one of the best ways to get them to enjoy sports is by promising something in the end.
They don’t have to win a game — mere participation should be enough to get them a reward. For example, you can promise a family vacation at the end of the school term.
You don’t have to break the bank to incentivize your child. Here are some free and low-cost reward ideas you can borrow:
- Buy them small treats such as ice cream or their favorite candy
- Go to the movies and have them choose what to watch
- Buy the kid something they have been raving about
- Allow them to stay up a little late over the weekend
- Give them extra electronics time
- Praise the child after every game you watch them play
Rewards will motivate your child to keep playing, and in the process, they will fall more in love with sports.
Ready to Get Your Kids Excited About Sports?
Playing sports offers numerous health and social benefits to kids. It is an integral part of growth. Therefore, if your child isn’t excited about sports, you need to encourage them.
Follow the tips we’ve shared here to get your kids excited about sports. Let them choose what they want to play, and they will love it. Regularly offer rewards to keep your children motivated about playing.
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