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Sports have many benefits for your children. Playing a sport teaches them teamwork, commitment and importance of hard work, which they can use later in life. It also keeps them healthy and active. If you want your kid to have fun playing sports, you should be positive about it and make it a pleasant experience. Here’s a little guide on how to get your kids to enjoy sports.
Don’t push it
Most parents understand just how important sports are, but some tend to overdo it. Don’t be that parent who pushes their child to excel in a certain sport from an early age, and try not to overburden your kid with too many different activities. Both options can have serious consequences. If you push your kid to concentrate on just one sport, it can become too much like a stressful and boring job. On the other hand, if you force your kid to do too many things at the same time, they will not be able to learn and become good at any of them. The best thing you can do is let your child play two or three sports a year. This way, they will acquire many skills, and they won’t get bored.
You know your child the best, so you should do your homework and find what suits your child’s personality and skills the best. Make sure you are present at practices from time to time in order to get the sense of the atmosphere and see the coach in action. A good coach is a key to a successful athlete. You want your child to have a supportive and patient coach that appreciates and rewards effort and determination.
Don’t concentrate on the score
When some parents see that their child is talented, they tend to picture their future as a famous athlete, so they start to push their child with extra practices and workouts. They do this with good intentions, but sometimes that can make their child hate the sport. You have to remember that the real reason you wanted your kid to start playing sports is their physical and emotional development. What you can do instead of concentrating on the score is ask questions such as “How was your practice today?” or “Did you have fun?” Also remember to praise your child and give some constructive feedback.
Consult with your child
Spend some time watching sports with your kids and see what interests them the most. Perhaps your child loves watching gymnastics or gets excited when there’s a football game on. You can also talk to your child and ask what sport they would like to try out, and you might just be surprised by the answer. Get some portable goals from your local soccer shop and let your kid invite some friends for a friendly match of soccer in the park. This will help you see how your kid responds, or you can also take your kid to a trial practice and see whether their impressions are positive or negative. Don’t rush into enrolling your child in any sport.
Stop the comparisons
If you’ve noticed that your children compare themselves with their teammates too much, try to help them concentrate on their own performance and achievements. If your kid plays an individual sport, help them keep a diary of the times and scores, so they can see the progress better. Also, teach your child how to handle mistakes and defeats, and teach them that nobody’s perfect. Explain to them that they make you proud either way, and that everyone makes mistakes – even professional athletes.
Don’t enrol your kids in sports just so they can become professional athletes. You should be happy when they have fun at their practices and come home smiling. If you put emphasis on positive things, your kids will fall in love with sports and nurture that love even when they grow up.