How to get kids interested in sports?

How to get kids interested in sports?

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‘A strong body makes a strong mind’. Physical activities are a crucial part of kids’ health, well-being, and learning, and are essential for improving motor and cognitive skills. Kids constantly climb, jump, crawl, and explore all their physical abilities, but they still haven’t developed a sense of how to channel their energy. Therefore, it’s important to understand which discipline is right for their age. Sports help them stay physically strong and active.

However, keeping kids interested in sports can be a challenge as they get older, as they may lose interest in sports over time. Lack of fun, excessive use of social media, increasing demand for school curriculum, and growing social life are some of the reasons why kids lose interest or cannot initiate interest in sports. Some kids naturally gravitate towards sports, but some do not show much interest. Therefore, we have a few tips for parents and teachers to get their children into sports.

1. Add physical activities to kid’s daily life to make them move

Some parents may think they need to sign their kids up for sports clubs to get them interested in sports, but simple physical activities such as walking in the forest, visiting parks, and using stairs instead of elevators can cultivate their interest in sports. Activities like throwing, catching, riding a bicycle, and running keep them physically engaged and active.

Physical activities can start at home, such as engaging children in making soap bubbles and blowing balloons to strengthen their lungs. Jumping between zebra lines and copying the actions of different animals also gets children moving and active. Integrating sports into kids’ daily lives makes it easy and more natural for them.

2. Give them a challenge

Challenges push kids to stretch themselves beyond their abilities and build an understanding of the purpose of the physical activities or sports they are engaged in. Instead of specializing kids in particular sports, parents should let kids try many things. The first thing parents can do is give challenges without threats or targets, as threats and targets take the fun out of sports. Children also think their parents don’t believe in their abilities and lose confidence while playing.

Children play better when they play for themselves. Teach them to compete against themselves instead of watching others win and lose. This helps them focus more on self-growth, stay relaxed, and have fun. As a result, they perform better and continue to participate in sports.

3. Be a role model

Instead of wondering how to get kids interested in sports, lead by example. Parents’ actions profoundly guide kids’ behaviour, attitude, and belief in the present and long term because actions speak louder than words. Kids absorb everything they watch around them. If they watch their parents lying on the couch and watching TV lazily or using social media, they will follow suit. 

To prove the value of sports to children, parents and teachers should engage themselves in physical activities. For instance, joining a gym, playing their favorite sports regularly, going for a run, or doing activities like hiking.

Also Read: Top 10 ways to build confidence in your students

4. Focus on fun

Experts agree that kids aren’t ready for competitive sports until they are eight. For small kids, parents and teachers should teach them the basics of any sport. The focus should be on fun and fundamentals instead of competition. To make sports more fun, parents and teachers can create their mini-games or modify the games they know. For instance, they can create treasure hunts, memory games, or funny scoreboards, and games that both can play.

Kids love playing games with friends, which is an excellent way to nurture their love for sports. Parents can invite their kids’ friends over to play, or they can take the kids to the playground with their friends. Playing with friends makes sports more enjoyable and memorable. It also helps build relationship-building and collaboration skills in children.

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5. Do sports together

Kids’ tendency to associate with sports starts with their parents. Teaching sports starts at home, and parents who actively do sports with kids play an important role in initiating and sustaining kids’ interest in sports. They also provide a positive mindset towards maintaining physical fitness throughout their life.

If parents are teaching kids how to ride a bicycle, they should ride together. This builds comfort and confidence for particular sports. Also, don’t underestimate the importance of watching sports together. This helps to strengthen the bond between kids and parents, understand games, and develop an interest in sports.

6. Encourage, don’t force

Keeping kids’ interest in sports requires careful engagement without being pushy. This is the era of technology, and kids love to play online games. But if parents want to get kids into sports, then pushing or forcing them won’t work. To gently engage kids in sports, parents can limit their screen time and blend virtual and real games. They can also give kids choices about which game they want to play after screen time. 

Additionally, parents need to be positive and patient while instructing kids to play sports. Variety is important too. Kids playing a variety of games are more likely to develop a range of skills that contribute to overall physical competence and increase the chance of enjoying the game.

7. Competition can be the next step

If kids love sports, then parents should encourage them to participate in competitions. Not all kids might be interested in participating in competitions, but it makes kids challenge themselves and push their limits. This provides kids with self-esteem and confidence.

Being active in sports can have a positive influence on kids’ physical and mental health. As it provides students with strong muscles and bones, kids have a lower risk of diabetes and heart disease. Physical activities reduce stress and increase self-esteem, focus, and attention. High attention helps kids to learn better and have good academic performance.

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