Sports allow kids to learn and master a variety of skills. Not only does it make kids more physically fit, but sports can also give kids the opportunity to interact, build friendship, communicate better, and learn important qualities like sportsmanship, teamwork, and diligence. But before all that, you need to convince your child first to leave his or her toys behind and give sports a try.
Find out where your kid’s interests lie.
Don’t assume anything. Just because your kid’s a boy doesn’t mean he’s automatically interested in basketball or football. At the same time, just because your kid’s a girl doesn’t mean she’s inclined to prefer a sport with less physical contact such as tennis or volleyball.
Although genetics and family history could influence your child’s preferences in sports, they can only do so at a certain extent. It’s not unheard of to have a badminton-loving member in a golf-playing family.
You need to listen instead of making any assumptions. Of course, there’s also a possibility that your child himself is still unsure of the type of sports he’s interested in. If so, it’s your job to ask leading questions. Does he enjoy playing outdoors or indoors? Does he prefer to play games focused on speed, stamina, or strategy? Answers to such questions will give you a clue on the kind of sport your kid is most likely to enjoy.
Start at home.
Don’t immediately enroll your kid in a sports clinic the moment you discover where his interests lie. Rather, see how far his liking for the sports goes by playing a game or two in your backyard or outside your house. Throw or pitch a couple of balls and see if he’s entertained. More importantly, practicing at home will give your child the opportunity to explore his decision and determine for himself if the sport’s indeed something he’d enjoy playing.
Prove how enjoyable sports can be.
Another way of motivating your child to participate in sports is to show them by example how enjoyable such activities can be. Play with them. Better yet, invite a few friends and some of his playmates even and play a game or two.
Give him exposure.
Let him know more about the different kinds of sports and why it’s enjoyable for so many people. Watch a game on TV or, if possible, watch it live. There’s nothing more impressive – and convincing – than when you’re watching a game in a crowded stadium and everyone around you is having a good time. Visit sports shops as well and point out to him the different kinds of equipment he might have to use in sports.
Choose the right setting.
Some kids prefer to practice sports alone before joining a sports camp. Other kids, however, prefer immediate action and interaction. Choosing the appropriate setting for your kid will help him know and enjoy sports more.
You need to make sure your child understand that your goals for having him join sport is to see him happy and, of course, have him become healthier and stronger. Although winning a game would be nice, it isn’t your ultimate goal and neither should it be for him.
He’s your kid first, an athlete second.
Most importantly of all, do remember that he is your child first and being an athlete is only his secondary role. Motivate him with that thought in mind and you’ll do fine.