Do you love sports but your kids don’t? It’s understandable if it frustrates you. You only want what you believe is best for them.

A Harvard poll revealed that 25% of adults participate in some form of sports. They love being active for several reasons. It’s not just about the adrenaline rush of the competition. It’s also about improving one’s physical and mental health. So, it’s no wonder that you’d want your child to reap the same benefits that you get.

But did you know that the same poll reported that 73% of adults used to play sports as a kid? That’s three in four people. As people got older, that number narrowed down to just one in four. Why the big dip?

According to Psychology Today, the youth-sport culture in the US is putting a strain on children. Many are pressured to fulfill the expectations of their parents, peers, coaches, and even the audience. Sports have become a burden to them. This is one of the reasons why people steer clear from playing sports as they get older.

You can avoid that from happening to your child. In this article, you’ll get some tips on how you can influence your kid to enjoy sports as much as you do. There are several sports and activities worth mentioning that can pique your child’s interest. You’ll learn how to encourage your child to play and be involved but in a healthy way. In the end, you’ll also identify any red flags if you’re starting to overdo or over-invest in your child’s sports.

How to Encourage Your Kid

Start by showing your interest in sports however way you can. Watch your sports of preference through TV or the internet. Read news or books about it. Display sports-related items in or around the house. Make your love for that sport obvious.

You can also be verbal about your preferences. Talk to your child about the sports you like. Introduce it to them. Provide trivia and history about it. Or you can tell a story about how you first came to like it. If you have old sports equipment, show them to your kid and give an elaborate background about it.

One of the most obvious ways to encourage your child is to participate in the sport you like. Join a casual sports club, gym, after-work team, or a weekend play. If you’re not sporty, watching a game or competition with them would do the trick.

So, why should you make it obvious? It’s because you have to lead by example. Children always imitate what they see their parents are doing.

While showing your kid your love for sports, it would be equally important to make it fun. Show your child how interesting it is and happy you are that you’re playing a game. Don’t make it look like that it’s a chore that must be done. Make it look like it’s all children’s play.

Another way of encouraging your kid to love sports is to play with them. Nothing could make any sport more fun in the eyes of a child than seeing their parents play with them or participate in them. It is one of the most important secrets to encouraging your child to be active in sports. By doing so, you are teaching your child to associate sports with fun. Doing sports with your kid can be as simple as riding a bike, playing catch, throwing some hoops, or swimming in your backyard pool.

What Sports or Activity is Best for Your Child

father and son playing basketball

Children can be either sporty or non-sporty. Good thing there are specific sports for each of them. If you have a sporty child, contact sports will be a good choice. Basketball, baseball, football, and all games that are physical in nature are considered contact sports. Most boys prefer this kind of game. Girls, on the other hand, go for ballet, swimming, tennis, dancing, or gymnastics. These are considered non-contact sports.

But don’t forget that gender doesn’t pick any specific sport.

You just have to ask your child what type of sports they prefer. If your child is starting to like gymnastics, there are many beginner and intermediate tumbling classes for kids. Gymnasts always start by learning the basics of tumbling. If your child wants to play basketball, let them participate in basketball street games. They’ll learn to play with other members of a team in the process.

How You’re Over-doing It

Before you do anything, learn how to set a limit. Identify that moment when you’re starting to put too much pressure on your child. It will not be healthy for both of you. At no matter what age, your child must first feel that the sport or game they chose is their choice. It shouldn’t be something you pushed on them, say like your favorite sport. Otherwise, they may end up hating the sport they love.

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