How to get your kids interested in sports

Sports are among the most important extracurricular activities for children of all ages. Aside from the well-documented benefits to your child’s health and wellbeing, there are many less obvious benefits to enrolling your child in some form of athletic program. Participation in sports has been linked to myriad developmental benefits – from better performance in school to lower incidences of drug use down the road. There really is no downside to encouraging participation in sports.

Some kids are little balls of hyperactive energy that can’t wait to get out onto a competitive athletic field. These inherently athletic children need very little cajoling to join a local sports league. All you need to do is find a sport that suits their interests and fits into their schedule.

Sports can be a harder sell for less active children. If your son or daughter is the cerebral type, he or she may have little to interest in athletics. That doesn’t mean you should give up. Even indoor kids can benefit a little active play. Here is how to get your kids interested in sports

Don’t let shyness be a deterrent either. Some kids are dying to play sports on the inside, but fear the social aspect of joining a team. If your son or daughter has a natural gift for sports, but struggles to make friends, he or she may need a little extra support from you. Build up your child’s confidence, and he or she will take that boost onto the field. In the beginning it may seem like pulling teeth, but I promise he or she will thank you for it later.

Your first step to involving your child in organized athletics is to gauge your child’s interest. Let your son or daughter’s hobbies be your guide. If your four-year-old son loves collecting baseball cards, steer him in the direction of a local tee ball league. Little league baseball is ubiquitous in the U.S., and tee ball is the first step to learning the game.

If your daughter oo’d and ah’d at Gabby Douglas’ heroics during the Summer Olympics, suggest a gymnastics class. A sport will always be an easier sale if there’s an initial spark of intrigue. Visit for cheap tickets to professional sporting events, as well. Buy a pair of seats and make a day of it with your kid. One great day at the stadium might be all it takes to make that final push.

Once your kid is playing, make sure you emphasize fun over winning. Youth athletics are more about character building and exercise than winning and losing. Remember, your child’s peewee football team is not the NFL. The last thing you want to do is stress out your little athlete with unreasonable expectations.

The last important tip is to remain involved. You don’t have to be a full-time coach or parent coordinator to have a role in your child’s athletic life. A simple track record of game attendance will go along way towards keeping your son or daughter involved. Always remember how much your children idolize you and crave your approval. Demonstrate that you’re interested in their sports and they’ll stay interested too.


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