By Diana Smith,
Discipline, motivation, commitment and cooperation are just some of the important life skills sports will teach your child. Sport is also one of the best ways to make your child physically active, which will benefit their health in the long run. Be it soccer, basketball, swimming, tennis or any other sport, it’s essential that you use the right approach when you decide to point your little one at the right direction, so they can enjoy the sport every step of the way.
Introduce them to the sport
Taking your child to sports matches or letting them watch a game with you on TV is the first step you should take before making them play any sports. Once they see what the sport is all about, how the players on the field are working together and how they are all enjoying the game, it’ll be easier for your child to decide whether they want to start playing it or not. Make sure you’re there to answer all their questions and clear the possible uncertainties they may have while they think about starting to play the sport in question.
Teach them about commitment
It’s vital that you explain to them that once they decide they want to play a certain sport, even if they don’t think it is the sport for them, they should try to do it for at least one season. Everyone has their good and bad days, and we learn everything in the process, so just because their first and second practice didn’t go well, it doesn’t mean the next one will be bad as well. This will also teach them to be persistent, and to work on themselves, rather than to give up the first time they hit a bump on the road.
Go through the basics together
Teaching your kids the basic principles of the sport is as important as teaching them more advanced techniques later. Show them the right way to play, and don’t rush going through the fundamentals with them, because they need to understand everything well before they can proceed with more advanced strategies. Try to make the sport as fun as possible to them, so they can learn the rules but stay entertained at the same time.
Get the equipment
If you’ve noticed that your child is leaning towards soccer, for example, feel free to get all the necessary equipment, so you can enjoy some sports at home first. Invest in a quality jersey, a comfortable pair of shoes, and don’t forget to buy soccer goals so they can practice all the moves right in the backyard. Once they are fully equipped, they will be able to train any time they want and discover whether they want to continue with the sport or not.
Don’t push them too far
Parents always want the best for their child, but sometimes the desire to encourage them can become overwhelming and turn into unnecessary pressure. It’s good to support your child and reassure them when they need it, but don’t overdo it. Furthermore, you may feel the need to enroll your child into multiple activities at the same time, so they can discover which fits them best, but that will only be stressful for them. Too much variety can confuse them and prevent them from loving or becoming outstanding in one specific sport.
Playing soccer, football, handball, baseball, or any other sport is vital for the healthy development of a child. However, before you enroll your kid into a specific sport, make sure you introduce them to it properly, go through the basics with them, help them practice at home, and always try to be a healthy support for them. Don’t try to force them into something they don’t like, but be their companion in finding the sport they’ll enjoy.