One of your most important responsibilities as a parent is to ensure that your child is physically active. Not only does this help to prevent damaging conditions such as obesity, but it also forges a stronger connection between the body and mind. One of the best ways of ensuring your kids get the exercise they need is by getting them interested in sports. There are several techniques that you can use to boost your kids’ enjoyment of sports, and here are a few of them that you can put into practice.
Lead by Example
Kids are like sponges who tend to absorb their external influences to a great extent. As a parent, you are their number one role model. So, if they grow up in a house in which playing sport is a central component, it is more likely that this will rub off on them. The first few times that you introduce a sport to your child, it may be just the two of you. Show plenty of enthusiasm and your kids are likely to get excited as a result of this.
Sign Them Up to a Club
When you are done with playing just with the family and you want your kid to experience the sport with other children, you can sign them up to a basketball academy or football club, but be sure to choose one that is suitable for their age range and ability level. If they can go along with a friend or schoolmate, this helps to provide them with confidence and a friendly face. As a parent, you should get into the habit of speaking with the instructor on a regular basis to find out how your child is doing and whether you can help out with anything. The act of getting your kids to go to sports clubs should be one of gentle encouragement rather than one that involves pushing them too hard.
Go Along to Matches and Spectator Events
When your child has been taking part in a sports club for a while, it is likely that there will be a match or other spectator event that you can go along to. When you are there, don’t be one of those parents who yells and generally puts too much pressure on their kids. Instead, you should be positive and enthusiastic. If you act angry and disappointed, this is more likely to rub off on your kids. Get into the habit of going on a regular basis to show your kids that you enjoy watching them.
Try Out Different Games and Activities
Kids tend to have short attention spans – and these have reduced even more in recent years with the widespread availability of technology. Therefore, it is worth trying out different games and activities. If your kid starts to lose interest in one sport, another one may help to get their enthusiasm levels up once again. Speak to your children about what they are enjoying and would like to do more of. This is better than trying to force them into a sport that you always used to enjoy when you were a kid. Remember, your interests are different and it is inevitable that you won’t like all the same activities.
Watch Sports on TV
A great way of introducing your kids to a range of different sports is to watch them together on TV. For younger kids, it may be a sports-based cartoon or movie that sparks off their interest and enthusiasm. When they are a little bit older, you could take them along to live sporting events. The roar of the crowd and the general hubbub of the event may make them even more excited about the sport. These days, there are plenty of sporting icons around, so seeing them on a regular basis may give your kid an idol who they can look up to.
Always Encourage Rather Than Force
The process of getting your kids into sports should be one of continuous encouragement. Nobody likes to feel as if they are being forced into doing an activity that they are not keen on; and this will only result in them having a negative reaction and going off the sport entirely. Of course, sometimes gentle encouragement can be useful. For example, on those early mornings when your child doesn’t feel like getting up, ensuring that they make it to their sports club practice session is often worthwhile. A lot of the time, they will be happy when they arrive and get their body moving!