Playing sports not only benefits your children physically, but also mentally trains them to be sharp and agile. Sadly, many children today spend much of their downtime playing on their computers or watching too much TV. Here are 5 ways on how to ignite your child’s interest in sports.
Avoid Overdoing It
The sports industry has the power to change one’s future so much so that parents sometimes overdo their role as a mentor/coach. Some parents encourage their children to build an intense focus on a sport at a very young age, while others overwork their children by signing them up for several after-school programs and activities all at once. While hard work at an early age does have the potential to pay off, it also has an equally good chance of backfiring. Instead, let your child pick a date when he or she wants to practice a sport or watch a game.
Accept Whatever Sport Your Child Chooses
Some parents become too fixated on a specific sport for a variety of possible reasons, such as their own personal upbringing or the potential fame and fortune to be made in a particular sport. They disregard the choices of their children, which again could backfire later on. Rather than being narrow-minded, accept whatever sports activity your child wants to pursue – whether it be kickboxing or BMX racing.
Take Them to Games
There is no better way to encourage your children’s interest in sports than to bring them to games. They see first-hand how a sport is played and enables them to envision their own future participation. If your child likes baseball, bring them to a local stadium during game nights.This will provide a more robust experience as opposed to watching it on TV. If they take up interest in BMX biking, bring them to bike fairs and stunt shows, where they may get to see professionals like Gary Young perform advanced maneuvers and talk about the essence of the sport.
Provide them with the Right Gear
It can be difficult for children to maintain an interest in a sport if they lack the resources to continue doing it on a regular basis. Ice hockey, for example, requires more than just the puck and stick. If your child doesn’t have proper safety gear and skates, they will likely lose interest after a few weeks or months of not stepping into a rink. If cost is an issue, it doesn’t have to be. You can find several quality discount sporting goods online and at local stores.
Discipline is Key
While sports can fortify your child’s self-discipline, it must be instilled at home. As a parent, it is your responsibility to teach this discipline by establishing rules. For instance, limit time in front of the computer or tablet unless required for school homework and research. Train your child to go to bed early so she is refreshed the next day – poor sleeping habits can curb her interest and capacity to participate in sports. Furthermore, be sure to explain to him the importance of a healthy and well-balanced diet. Passion is definitely important, but physical and mental health will also be decisive factors in your child’s performance.
Getting your child to take up sports can be difficult, especially if you pursue the course too late. Once you do manage to get them to take the first step, it’ll be hard work not only for your child, but also for you, the parent. Make sure you can commit your attention, time, and budget to the newfound passion that you helped your child to discover.
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Lizzie Weakley is a freelance writer from Columbus, Ohio. She went to college at The Ohio State University where she studied communications. Lizzie enjoys the outdoors and long walks in the park with her 3-year-old husky, Snowball. If you like Lizzie’s style of writing please follow her on Facebook and Twitter.
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