For a vast majority of children the opportunity to be involved in sporting activities as well as athletic experiences is an experience that they relish. Some children prefer an individual sporting activity while some are more inclined to team sports. Similarly, some prefer low impact sports & some love a sporting activity that is physically challenging. How does one then choose the right sports for kids that serve their interests? If you are seeking an answer to “How do I know what sport is best for my child?” here is help:
Expose the Child to a Wide Variety of Sporting Activities
It is a given that the child’s interest in a sporting activity is the best determiner of the sport he or she should partake in. For this, it is important that you expose the child to a wide variety of sporting experiences. You could begin by getting them to watch various sports. However, the true test will happen when they participate in the activity themselves. Other than taking part in these activities you could also pick up cues from the way the child speaks of a particular game, its players & strategies.
Once you do see interest in one sporting activity, it is recommended that some one-on-one time is spent teaching the child the fundamentals of the sport. If it is a sport that you do not have skills in, you could even try learning it together or at the very least discussing its players, strategies and more.
Team or Individual Sport
A good starting point to answer the question on “how do I choose the right sport”, is to figure out whether the child prefers a team sport or is more comfortable with individual sports. While individual sports like cycling, gymnastics that depend on their own talent would be preferable to some kids, some others prefer to play a role in a team & hence cricket, basketball or football may be a better fit.
For certain sports for kids the child’s body type can also play an important role. For example a short child may be better suited for football than basketball. A word of caution here though- if the child is inclined towards a particular sport make sure you do not body shame the child in trying to redirect his energies to another sporting activity. It can lead to the child’s psyche being impacted & his or her confidence levels taking a hit. Above everything, it is important to remember that the only limitations are the ones that are set in the mind.
Last but definitely not the least, you will need to take into account the cost of the sport. In case your child wants to take up a really expensive sport it is important to gauge the commitment levels before making those large investments in equipment & more.
Some other handy tips include:
- In case the child has a sedentary lifestyle it may be best to transition him or her into an active lifestyle before getting into high impact sports.
- Be sure that you aren’t projecting your own interests on to the child. Pushing a child towards a sport that the child has no interest in, but you were great at, is not likely to bring favourable results.
To Sum Up
Go ahead & help your child make the best choice basis their inclination towards the sporting activity. Above everything, it is important to remember that no matter which sport the child chooses, it is important that he or she inculcates the ever so important sporting spirit.
Also, in case your child does not take an immediate liking to sports, it is advisable not to press the issue. If you insist too much the child may take to a sport but only to please the parent and that comes with a psychological pressure of its own. If anything, it can have an inverse effect on the child’s desire to participate in the sport. While the importance of sports cannot be overstated, not all children may be fond of sports- some may prefer other activities like reading. As long as they do not have a sedentary lifestyle, it is best to go with their preferences. As a parent, ensure you have enough patience as well as time to support your child through his or her choice.