How to get your Child Interested in Sport from an Early Age
16th May 2016
Getting involved in sports from an early age has many benefits for your child, and not only for the obvious reasons, like keeping fit and healthy.
Children around the age of six and seven begin to develop the skills they need in order to play physical games e.g. they have the attention span and ability to understand how to follow rules. Up until this age, playing sports is just a fun way to run around and burn off some energy.
Developing active habits early on will help your child carry many skills and attributes through to adulthood, including self-esteem, social skills, confidence, team building and many more.
So, how can you get your child involved in sports?
Make your child aware of all the different types of sports they can get involved in. Football, hockey, swimming, netball, basketball, rounders, golf etc. Also, explain how they can be part of a team or play an individual sport, depending on their personality – you will probably know which one would be best for your child.
You can try practising some of them at home i.e playing basketball on the drive or playing a game of rounders with family and friends. This way, you can see your child’s reaction and can tell if they are enjoying it or not.
If you show enthusiasm towards sports, it is more likely to rub off on your child, as you are their role model after all.
Be there to support them, whether they’re playing matches or just practicing in the garden. This also includes times when they may have lost a game or feel disheartened that they didn’t play to the best of their ability. It’s also important to remember why your child is playing the sport in the first place, for the social and physical development, not just to win every time.
Rewards should not be relied on all the time but can be used every now and then to encourage your child to persist with their sport. A little reward here and there after they have tried their hardest and really given something a go, will hopefully help give them the motivation to continue to pursue the sport.
Joining in when your child is playing their sport will give them moral support. If they are a little on the shy side then by joining in with them, you will show that there is nothing to be scared of and that everyone can enjoy playing sport and have fun in doing so. You could even make it a family event, and get everyone involved when you next have the family round – game of rounders anyone??
It is really important that you never pressurise your child into doing something they really don’t want to do. This will make them feel uncomfortable and leave a bad taste in their mouth towards the sport. In fact, it will totally undo all the work you have put in so far and will have the reverse effect on improving their confidence and self-esteem.
Not the sporty kind?
It is possible that despite all these efforts, your child shows no interest in sports and is simply not the sporty type. If this is the case, then accept it and do not push the issue any further. Rather yet, explore other things your child can get involved in, such as learning how to play a musical instrument or taking up arts and crafts.
To help build your child’s self-esteem, confidence and general well being, we schedule in a range of different activities, so there is something for every child to get involved in, whether it’s a physical game or arts and crafts. To find out more about our childcare services, please don’t hesitate to contact the team at Tiny World.