We can all agree that sports are fun. It doesn’t matter whether you enjoy basketball, soccer, swimming or something totally different. What matters is that you partake in a healthy activity and, frankly, it is hard to find a healthier activity than a game of hoops or a match of tennis. That is why it comes as no surprise that sports are equally important when it comes to children.
They help them develop their bodies as well as their intellect. However, it is pretty hard to persuade some kids to enlist in a sports team. Who would voluntarily want to give up their free time, just to sweat during soccer practice? We, the adults, understand the importance of sports activities, but teaching it to our children can prove difficult.
Luckily, the solution isn’t rocket science; you just have to make sports fun and enjoyable for your kids. And here is exactly how to do that.
Let them choose
Number one mistake parents make is deciding themselves which sport their child will play. This is completely counterproductive. Sure, kids don’t know much about sports, but you can’t force them into something they are completely against.
The best way to approach this is to play with them. Kick the ball around the yard, shoot hoops, or even watch a sports game with them. If they show interest in any particular sport, take them to a practice session so they can try it out. Even though this sport might not be your favourite, it is important for your child to like it. Otherwise, they will quit in a matter of months.
Ease them in
Sports are a big commitment and your child should know that from the beginning. However, you don’t have to put them on a five-practices-per-week schedule right away. Instead, slowly ease them in until they have built an interest for the sport. Two or three practices a week are more than enough and on weekends, you can take them to games.
As your kid builds interest for the sport, they will want to get better at it and only then can you increase the number of training sessions. Remember that the key is to have fun, and there is no fun if you force your child to go on to practice every day.
Reward their successes
Reward systems are great to boost your kid’s interest in a particular sport. Let’s say that your kid is playing soccer and wants brand new gear. Instead of buying it right away, make a deal with them. For example, if they go to every practice for two months, you will buy them the soccer gear they want. This way, you are creating a healthy goal for them to achieve and at the end, a reward awaits them. Just don’t make the task too hard, otherwise, your kid will only get frustrated if they can’t complete it.
You can do this for all their successes. If they win a trophy, take them to their favourite pizza place or something like that. Give them incentives to practice and get better until they build up interest and create their own goals. Once they are invested in a sport, you won’t have to do much except than drive them to practice.
And that is about it. As you can see, it’s all about creating a fun environment. In the beginning, it will be tough, but as their interest grows, you will have to do less and less work, until you are completely free and your kid is completely invested and enjoying sports.