As parents, we all know the struggle of trying to get kids interested in outdoor sports and activities. New generations are growing next to their gadgets and those outdoor “playgrounds” – parks, woods, lakes and so, are easily becoming the thing of the past. While you can easily say that institutional sports aren’t important since kids have a lot of physical activity anyways, the reality is that obesity is on the rise among the youngest generation. You should at least try to encourage your kids to stay active as they grow. This does not mean that you should force sports on kids who hate them, but some children might love them if they just had a chance, and that’s what we’re talking about here – how to get them more interested in sports and fitness and being active.
Help them master the basics
Some pediatricians argue that many pre-schoolers aren’t ready for organized team sports, as they still need to learn fundamental motor skills, and mastering those is critical for sports later. If your child focuses on specific skills like batting and kicking before they master skipping and jumping, they might have a difficulty in running and balancing efficiently. Getting your pre-schooler outside for at least 60 minutes of physical activity every day will give them time to master the basics. Going into the mountain, wood, lake area for the weekend can help a lot, and can learn kids to love and respect nature as well!
Take it easy
Unfortunately, many parents encourage an intense focus on a single sport at an early age, while others enlist their child in several activities at once. Both approaches can backfire, as one sport several times a week plus weekend matches can feel much like a job, while too much variety may make it hard to learn and love any of them. At a young age, children should play two to three sports a year, so they can get a broad set of skills and find out what they like. Get them a variety of equipment from soccer balls to golf clubs to softball bats here. Let them decide which they do prefer and have them try the scout camps during the summer, or any “multidiscipline” camp in nature – they can try all of the different activities and decide what they do really love.
Give them a say
Ask them what team they’d like to join, and maybe you’re in for a big surprise. Parents often assume that their kids want to be in the same sports program that their friends are in, but that’s not always the best approach. If your daughter, for example, hates volleyball or isn’t good at it, she could feel like a failure and may refuse to try other activities. One way of giving them a say is allowing them to design their sports clothes. This site, for example, lets their customers design sports uniforms for men and women, choosing between many designs, colors, logos, and even custom texts that your kid may love.
Find the sport that suits them
Not all of us are born to become boxers or rugby players, but not all sports require excessive amounts of power and stamina. As they develop, your kids can choose from plenty of different sports. If they’re more interested in concentration and technique, they might like baseball. If they are more of an adventurous type, you could show them surfing or windsurfing. However, if your son is built like a small tank, you might be looking at a future NFL player in your family. One way or another, it’s important to let them choose and not to force your choice upon them. Also, don’t forget the hiking and climbing – those are amazing sports that require the whole body to participate, plus, they are outdoor and survival oriented which make them more interesting and “cool” among youth!
Take them to a game or a hiking trail
This is a fact no one can argue with – if you want to get your kid interested in sports, show them how exciting a sport can be. By taking them to a sporting event, game or competition, they’ll be able to see real athletes taking their sport of choice to its maximum potential. There is something euphoric and enthralling about a cheering crowd that is difficult to resist.
Being interested in a sport will teach your child essential life skills, such as discipline, motivation, commitment, and cooperation, even if there are some potential rough patches to work through, such as choosing the right sport and finding a supportive coach and a motivating team that can help your kid watch and learn even from the sidelines without feeling anxious.