Sports are a great way to keep fit and healthy, and encouraging your children to play sports is good not just for their bodies but also for their sociability. Follow some of these simple tips to help encourage your child to embrace sports.
Lead by Example
Parents set the example that children will follow in all aspects of life, so it is hard to encourage your child to embrace sports and take an interest in activities if you are not doing the same yourself.
Play and practice sports with your children whenever possible. You can play catch in the yard with your child to help them perfect their baseball game, for example, or play fun games of one-on-one basketball on the driveway to help them develop the skills they need for the basketball courts at school.
The example you set can have a negative impact on their lives too. If you spend a lot of your time lazing on the couch and binge-watching television, they will likely grow up to do the same. Playing sports with your children is good for you as well as them.
Keep it Fun but Raise the Stakes
Children like to be rewarded for their efforts; we all do. If you want your child to take an interest in sports and playing, then why not offer incentives to help give them the motivation they need.
You can let them off some household chores if they practice their sports or improve their game, for instance. You can also offer incentives like gifts or money if they achieve certain scores or regularly practice.
Get the Right Equipment
Sports equipment can be expensive, but you shouldn’t let that stop you from providing your child with the gear they need to excel at a sport or get started in a new activity.
Having the right equipment, and something new that is theirs is a great way to get your child to embrace a new sport and practice regularly. You will find that new gear can keep them engaged and excited about sports, especially if it is a team sport that they play at school either in recess or as a part of an organized school team. Having their own equipment helps a child to take ownership of the sport and the responsibilities that come with it.
Watch Sports with Your Child
Don’t underestimate the impact that watching sporting events with your child can have on their engagement with sports.
The events you watch don’t necessarily have to be the sports they are interested in or play themselves, as any sport has lessons that they can learn about teamwork, tenacity, or how practicing helps people perfect their game. Watching the sport they do like with them, and helping them to understand the rules of the game and strategy, is obviously beneficial to your child too, so make sure you spend some time watching their favorite sport with them.
Encourage Your Child, But Never Force Them into Sports
You can lead a horse to water, but you cannot make it drink, so they say. If you try to make your child play a sport that they are not interested in, it is unlikely they will take it up and play themselves.
If your son or daughter has no interest in baseball or softball, for instance, you are not going to be able to turn them into a major league player no matter how much you encourage or even force them to practice. Let sports be your child’s idea, and support and encourage their interest even if it is in a sport that you don’t enjoy yourself.
With the help of just a few of these simple tips, you should be able to encourage your child to embrace sports and help support them as they practice and develop their skills.