Despite how good physical activity is for your kid’s health and wellbeing, trying to encourage them to put their electronic device away, get off the sofa, and go outside to participate in team sports can be a challenge sometimes.
However, there are many benefits to your kids getting involved in team sports if they have any interest–including helping with socialization skills, promoting teamwork and problem-solving skills, boosting self-esteem, and giving them the opportunity to regularly engage in exercise–so here are some tips on how you can gently encourage your kids to get involved in team sports.
Make it a Family Affair
Of course, you can’t force your kids to enjoy sports, but there are a few tips and tricks that you can implement to try and encourage their love for group physical activity. First, we recommend that you take part in team sports as a family. Kids learn behavior from their parents, so if they see you taking part in team sports and enjoying it, then they are a lot more likely to want to take part themselves.
Sports such as soccer or basketball (or even kickball or dodgeball) are great activities that the whole family can enjoy, plus heading down to your local park with a ball doesn’t have to cost you a penny. Helping your kids learn how to play specific team sports as a family is also a great way to set them up ready to play in a team elsewhere.
Start Them Young
It can be considerably harder to get your kids to play team sports if you suddenly introduce the activity once they’ve already hit school age. Therefore, we recommend that you get them used to physical activity and engaging in team sports when they are younger.
Of course, when they are younger, they may not have any idea what sort of game they want to play– so as a parent you can make a few suggestions and give them the opportunity to try a range of different activities until they find a sport they enjoy the most.
Encourage Them to Practice
When your kids finally find a team sport that they love, you may find that if they aren’t great at it straight away, then they want to quit altogether. This is where you come in. While some sports activities are easier to get the hang of than others, as a parent you should encourage your kids to practice until they improve at their game. This teaches them about commitment and shows them that sticking to a task is a sure way to help them succeed.
A great way to encourage your kids to practice is by finding friends to play with, as well as providing them with the equipment they need so they can perfect their game at home or at the park. For example, if your kid wants to get involved in Little League then here are more than 10 Little League approved mounds that are great for your kids to practice on.
Let Them Pick the Sports
While you may have an idea in your head of the kind of team sport that you would like your kids to play–especially if you have fond memories of yourself on, say, the football field in high school and want the same for your own offspring — it is important that you give them the freedom to pick their own activity. The more you try to force your kids down a particular route, the more likely they are to resist–and eventually quit. Remember that any team sport is a good addition to your kid’s physical activity and the happier they are with the sport, the more likely they are to continue.
While it may not happen overnight, by being consistent and supportive of your kids playing team sport, you will improve the chances of them finding an activity that they are good at, that they enjoy, and that they’ll to commit to for the long haul.