If you’re wondering how to make your child love sports, you’re not alone. Most parents know physical activity is essential to health as it improves motor skills, strengthens bones, muscles, cognitive and social skills. However, it’s challenging if your child doesn’t have a predisposition towards structured physical activity, and that’s why we’ve put a list together of tips and activities for kids not interested in sports.
Why Is My Kid Not Interested In Sports?
This is particularly prevalent in most kids that don’t play a first-team sport. But then those who show outstanding sporting abilities may still lose interest because their parent's desire for them to achieve outweighs their passion, they’re under too much pressure to perform, or team dynamics don’t gel. Of course, sometimes, a child just doesn’t care for sport and would prefer to dance, for example. A child losing interest in sports isn’t the end of the world — there are ways to get them moving!
8 Tips To Get Kids Interested in Sports and Moving
From family activities to setting an example and encouraging them to play outdoors, here’s how to make your child love sports.
#1 Help Your Child Move Early
Children under five years old should be active for at least 180 minutes per day. This doesn’t have to be all at once, nor does it need to be formal sports. Water-based activities and home environments that stimulate movement experiences like climbing and crawling are good. Everyday activities that promote coordination from a young age, like throwing and catching, riding a scooter, trampolining, running, and playing can motivate kids to love exercise. Because young children spend a fair amount of time in pushchairs, it’s vital they remain active to develop healthy bodies and minds.
#2 Add Physical Activity Into Daily Routine
When physical activity is part of a family’s lifestyle, it becomes second nature to kids. It could be going on hikes, cycling, or playing a family sport. Combining family time with physical activity builds lifelong habits. Children often carry family-time traditions into their adulthood, one of which could be a form of exercise. If children have fun, they will connect physical activity with a sense of community. Exercising together also encourages teamwork, strengthening family bonds and ties, while also imparting valuable lessons about cooperation and group dynamics.
#3 Be an Example
Wondering how to raise your child to love exercise? Lead by example. Developmental psychologists have long known that children learn by imitating adults. Being an active role model is one of the best ways of getting kids interested in sports. Parents that partake in sport and find it a positive experience will rub off on their kids. What parents do and say profoundly guide a child’s behavior, attitudes, and beliefs in the present and long term. Those that actually look after their physical health and wellbeing stand a stronger chance of motivating their kids because actions speak louder than words. And if you don’t play sports, it’s never too late to start.
#4 Spend Time Outdoors
Playing outside gives children the chance to explore the natural environment, test their physical limits, and exercise. Try to limit screen time and encourage your children to play in the yard instead. Making time to visit the local park is a low-cost and easy option to get your kid outside the house if you don’t have a garden. Family trips with an emphasis on the outdoors like camping are also a great way to encourage active play in the fresh air.
#5 Focus on Fun
#6 Do Sport Together
Teaching kids to love sports starts at home. Parents who actively do sports with their kids play a significant role in initiating and sustaining a child’s sports participation and positive mindset towards maintaining physical fitness through life. Kids that grow up with inactive parents will likely emulate the same behavior. Sharing in active play with your kid isn’t just a good way to get their hearts pumping; it’s also a way to family bond and teaches important life skills.
#7 Encourage, Don’t Force
It’s never good for parents to live vicariously through their kids. Keeping kids interested in sports requires careful encouragement without being too pushy. There is no single way for a parent to support their child. Communication is key, so take the time to find out your child’s goals and aims for the sport they play. This will help you work alongside them to ensure they have the best experience instead of projecting your agenda onto their ambitions.
#8 Variety is More Important
Not every kid is cut out to be a star athlete, but that doesn’t mean they shouldn’t play or participate in sports. There are loads of health benefits of being active that supersede the competition. And even if it’s not a formal sport, teaching your kids to be physically active helps them develop into well-rounded adults. At Hot Ground Gym, we know how to help kids love sports. Our holiday camps and extracurricular boot camps provide fun, safe and stimulating environments for kids to play on obstacle courses and engage in team-building activities. Contact us to find out how to get your child interested in sports.