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How To Get Kids Interested In Sports

Physical activity is one of the most important parts of a child’s health, well-being and learning. Helping them incorporate it into their life is a huge priority in modern parenting — yet many parents are dismayed to find their son or daughter is not interested in sports. In this article, we’ll help by explaining how to get kids interested in sports and have fun doing it.

 How To Get Kids Interested In Sports

Leading by Example

Remember that kids are sponges who absorb their understanding of life by watching their parents. This can be both a blessing and a curse — who hasn’t heard the “do as I say, not as I do” line before? If you drive like a maniac or leave the kitchen messy, chances are high that you’ll find your child emulating the behavior later on.

Similarly, if your child sees you lazing on the couch watching TV all day, then they will have little reason to believe that exercise is truly an important part of life. Start proving the value of sports by participating in them yourself.

There are so many ways to demonstrate this relationship with sports, and most of them will benefit you as much as your child. Join an after-work kickball team. Go for runs. Join the local gym. Maybe even pull out the old tennis racket or ice skates. There are sports like soccer, ultimate frisbee, basketball, baseball, softball and many more that offer pick-up games for those who want some casual sports involvement.

Do Sports Together

How Parents Can Encourage Kids Into Sports -Do Sports Together

Nothing is so quintessentially American as throwing a baseball with your kid, but the benefits of doing so go well beyond quality time spent together.

A child’s tendency to associate sports with fun starts with you, the parent. Because a child forms their idea of normalcy by observing your behaviors, impart the importance of sports on them by doing fun athletic activities together.

Teach your kid to ride a bike, and then take it a step further by going on bike rides together. This can be as simple as a ride down the street or as adventurous as zipping through the woods on mountain bikes. Get a basketball hoop and teach them the basics of dribbling and shooting. If you prefer to go to the gym, take your child with you and find fun activities for them to participate in.

It is normal to introduce your kids to the sports you enjoy most yourself. However, as time goes on, pay close attention to your child and observe whether they seem to be having fun. It is entirely possible that your favorite sport won’t interest them at all, and that is completely fine — just be ready to accept it and move onto another option. Try introducing them to many different sports and see if they are naturally inclined toward one.

Keep It Fun

No one likes a chore. Just as kids learn that sports are important by watching their parents participate in them, they also learn that sports are fun by watching people enjoy themselves while playing them.

When you do teach your child basketball, baseball or any other sport, resist the urge to apply too much pressure. Instead, keep it light and have a sense of humor about everything. A child will not have interest in learning proper shooting technique if they don’t first enjoy the game — so make sure you are having fun before all else.

Encourage, Don’t Force

Encourage, Don’t Force |  How To Get Kids Interested In Sports
 How To Get Kids Interested In Sports

This ties in with trying to keep sports fun instead of chore-like. Your role in getting your child involved in sports is to frame them as fun rather than yet another obligation.

People don’t like being bad at things, and children are no exception. If your child seems to enjoy a sport, encourage them by telling them what they are doing well. Even by saying, “I love the way you cheer the team on,” you are making it more likely that they will feel positive about their own contribution.

Also, don’t get too hung up on pushing your child to practice drills repetitively. While you will undoubtedly want to instill work ethic in them, don’t lose sight of the number one goal: They should be having fun while exercising.

Even if a child works hard and excels at a certain sport, when it stops being fun, they are unlikely to continue pursuing it. The goal here is a long-term one: You want sports to be a part of their life not only as children, but also as eventual adults.

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