Allow the child to experience a variety of sports
The best indicator of whether a child will enjoy a sport as a participant in their interest in it. Expose the child to many sports experiences. It is great to watch sports on TV, but it is even better to be there in person. Talk to them about their opinions about each sport.
Look out for signs of enthusiasm
You can ask your child to pick the most exciting one as you look at the different sports. Talk to your child about what interests them. They might talk about the strategy, players, or the experience with others. You might find them gravitating towards people passionate about a certain sport. You can learn a lot about their interests by listening and watching.
Discover your preference: Individual or team sport
Some children prefer to play in a team sport such as football, basketball or baseball in which they have a part. Some children will choose to be part of a team that emphasizes their skills. These sports include tennis, golf and swimming. They may also enjoy other sports, such as cycling or gymnastics. You can observe your child and find out their preferences. These observations will help narrow down the best sport for your child.
Match the sport to your child’s body type
A tall, stocky child might be more suited for football than basketball. Taller and more muscular children may be better suited for basketball and track. Their body type plays a big role in their chances of success, as they are often shorter than average football and basketball players.
Multisports are possible
After narrowing down your choices to just a few, you can start to explore them. Although it is best not to allow your child to play more than one sport in any given season, it is okay for them to play soccer in spring, football in fall, and volleyball in winter. You can let them pick one sport as they become more familiar with it.
Learn skills one-on-one
A parent can teach their children the fundamentals of sports one-on-one. This is one of the most rewarding things for their child. Parents spend hours playing catch with their children and watching them throw flies and grounders out in the backyard. Some people set up cones to practice dribbling the soccer ball between cones. This is quality time for both you and your child. It helps them to learn basic skills in a non-threatening environment. You can learn their skills together if they are involved in a sport you don’t know.
Take a look at your body
Make sure your child is examined before they participate in any sport. Talk to your doctor about the sports plan and the physical demands of the sport. Children often get hurt in sports because they don’t feel ready or have limitations they didn’t know before.
Teach responsibility and take it!
Both the parent and child must take responsibility for their sport. It takes time and sacrifice to practice at home, keep track of equipment, attends practices and games on time, and be active. Sport can be a great way to teach responsibility.
Other useful tips
- Start small if your child is overweight or sedentary. A trampoline, bicycle, or skateboard can help a more sedentary child move away from video games and books into an active lifestyle.
- You might also consider less-popular sports. Many organized sports go beyond traditional football, softball and baseball. Your child may be interested in martial arts, cross-country, tennis, soccer, cross-country, golf, fencing or lacrosse. These are all sports that your child can participate in and help them learn valuable skills.
- Do not try to protect your interests and pass them on to your child. Your child may not enjoy the same sport you played as you did when you were young. It doesn’t matter what sport your child chooses; participation in sports is important. It is a mistake to push your child into a sport because they excelled in it.
What do you need?
- It’s time to get out and play sports.
- Time to practice and learn skills
- Time to support your child’s choice