How to Properly Encourage Kids to Play Sports?

| Updated on January 31, 2024

For some children, playing sports is more of a chore than an enjoyable activity that serves their physical and mental wellbeing. Physical exercise is incredibly important for growing children. It also helps them to learn hand-eye coordination and teaches them about being team players. Some children love sports from the very beginning, but what can you do if your children are not showing any interest or motivation? Here are some ways that you can encourage young kids to play a variety of sports.

Don’t Get Hung Up on Results

The worst part for your child may be that they are too focused on the sport and winning or showing off than they are about playing something fun. As a parent, you need to encourage your kids’ efforts and don’t boost them to only play competitively. It needs to be an experience that they want to participate in again and again every day, otherwise, it’s more work than entertainment. 

Kids want to have fun. They don’t want to be measured and evaluated, and they need to learn that playing sports is beneficial for a variety of reasons. Playing with your children will help to motivate them because they will be spending time with you and not being judged or watched from the sidelines.

Allow Them to Choose the Sport

Often, parents will have an idea about what type of person their kid should grow up to be. This can demotivate them even more. Allow them to choose a sport, even if it is not what you envisioned. Kids need to understand that they have the right to make decisions for themselves, and letting them pick the sport will help them feel involved. 

Whether it’s tennis, football, or swimming, there is some activity that your kids enjoy. They are, after all, young growing children who have a lot of energy they need to burn off, and sports is the way to go. No matter the sport, make sure they have the necessary equipment to play it properly. For example, baseball bats and mitts need to be specific to your child’s height and which hand they play with. You can learn more about choosing a bat size with this guide.

Create New Games

Perhaps there aren’t any physical sports that your kids enjoy. Still, this doesn’t mean that you can’t create an entirely new sport that they will love. They will enjoy not only joining in on the fun of creating a unique sport, but they will also feel more encouraged to play it. Monitor your kids’ behavior and identify certain activities they often perform. Do they like to throw a ball up as high as they can, or do they regularly climb trees? Get creative and turn that activity into a sport or mini-game with a running scoreboard and rules that the kids make up themselves. 

These consistent activities may even enlighten you to the type of sport they would enjoy. Perhaps climbing rocks instead of trees could be your kids’ favorite sport – they just haven’t learned about it yet. 

Keep the Fun Factor Turned Up

Kids will only participate in something that is fun and they can enjoy. The more kids like something, the more they want it. It just takes the right perspective and mindset to get your kids excited about playing sports. As long as the activity gives them the feeling of joy and entertainment, they will continue to participate.

Change up the sport every once in a while, and allow their friends to join in. This will encourage teamwork and positive competition.

Always ask your kids what they want, and never assume that you know what they like. Getting kids to play sports can be tough, but if you approach it the right way, you can make them think it was their idea in the first place.


Jeremy L. Price

Education

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