Childhood obesity is a huge concern for many first-world countries. Beyond that, due to the pandemic, there have been fewer opportunities for children to get outside and exercise as well as socialize. For all of these reasons and more, it is essential to find a sport that your child will be interested in playing.
Naturally, you cannot force a child to enjoy a sport. When forced to do something, most children will be unhappy at the prospect and you need to get them interested in a more organic way. Here’s what you can do.
- Opt for sports equipment and gear rather than electronics. The first thing that you can do to get your kids interested in sports is to buy them some Beginner Sports Gear and equipment rather than the latest tablet or video game. Simply having the gear around in your house will make it more encouraging to play with and even more so if you have limited screen time at your house. It is much easier to get into sports if you do not need to track down the tools that you need to get started.
- Play with your kids. It might sound completely obvious, but you need to play with your kids. When you play sports with your kids, your kids will be more likely to be interested in playing as well. Kids like to do what their parents do. They are excellent mimics. So if you are sitting around all day watching television, they are likely to do the same. Meanwhile, if you are outside kicking around a soccer ball or going for a run, they are more likely to follow suit. It doesn’t mean that you need to artificially get into sports yourself, but you can hardly expect your child to get on board if you don’t do any activities. Ask your kids to play with you. Go outside together and throw a ball around. Your interest will help build their interest.
- Go to sporting events. While this has been harder in the last year or so, when you can, you should take your kids to sporting events. Watching a football game or a soccer game in person is incredibly exciting. They will feel like they are really a part of the whole thing and turn sports into an interest. Watching games together on television is also an option if you cannot attend any games in person. Even if this doesn’t turn your children into athletes, you are likely to turn them into sports fans.
- Be present. If you have signed your child up for a sport, such as soccer, you need to be present as well. You cannot simply sign your child up and leave. You need to be there, watch, and cheer for your child. You need to go to every practice and game and just be present. Your support will encourage your child to continue with the sport, knowing that you are there with them. You should also be willing to work with your child outside of practice on skills that will make them better at the sport and also show that you are invested in the sport alongside of them.
- Talk to them about famous sports figures. Talking to your kids about amazing sports figures in history can also help build up their appreciation for sports. When they can have a connection to people who have played the sport in question professionally, they can have a goal to reach toward. You can give your children biographies about special figures and read them together to help your children be able to build their own appreciation of the sport.
The most important thing when building interest in sports is to not force the issue. No one likes to be forced into anything and you will wind up with the complete opposite effect than what you are after. Instead, be kind and encouraging, listening to what your child has said that he or she would like to participate in or what he or she is more interested in learning about. If it is a sport that you are unfamiliar with, you could get a new hobby out of it as well.