How can you make your child develop interest in sports?

Dealing with Kids who aren’t Interested in Sports

Physical activity is essential for a child’s development. Although many kids enjoy playing sports, some may not. Parents need to understand what concerns their child and find out alternative options to keep them physically active.

There is no doubt that sports play a major role in keeping your kids fit. However, what parents need to realise is that they cannot force a choice upon their kids. There are many children who do not like to play sports due to various reasons. This must not make parents lose heart; on the contrary, they should discuss with the kid, what other options of physical activity he can explore.

There are enough other activities and kids can be fit without playing team sports too. Parents need to find out what are those other activities that attract their child. This way, parents may be able to help their child with deeper concerns and encourage him to do what he likes. Following are some reasons why some kids do not enjoy sports and the ways to tackle it:

The Child might Still be Developing Basic Skills

Most children do not develop their physical skills, until they are six to seven years old. Before this, they do not have the skills, the attention span and the ability to get hold of the rules required to play organized sports. Kids who haven’t been exposed to a sport at an early age need some extra time to do well in the activity. Failure might make them frustrated and nervous. Practicing with the child at home can help. The child will try, fail and learn the game without being conscious about failing in front of peers. It also makes parents and children spend quality time together.

The Sport or Coach is too Competitive

A kid who does not enjoy playing sports feels even more nervous when his coach shouts and puts extra pressure on kids for making them win a game. Kids can handle competitive aspects of sports as they grow older. But, most kids are not used to the pressure until they enter teenage. They need a healthy and supportive atmosphere to enjoy the sport.

The Child Might Still be Trying to Find Out which Sport He Likes

Some kids don’t enjoy sports, because they still haven’t found out which sport they like. A child who does not have good hand-eye coordination for playing baseball might enjoy some other activity like swimming, running, or cycling. Some kids might find individual activities more appealing. Parents should be open to the interests of the kid and encourage them to do what they like. Exploring various options can help the child invest time in something he enjoys.

Other Barriers

Every child is different. His rate of maturity might be different from others. Kids of the same age may vary in height, weight and athletic ability. A child may be less coordinated or not as strong as other kids of his age, making him feel uncomfortable to compete with them. Kids might also be scared about getting hurt while playing a sport. Overweight kids might be reluctant to participate in a sport in the fear of not being able to catch up with other kids.

Parents need to take out some time and think about the abilities, strengths and temperament of their child. This way, they can find out an activity that matches their child’s interest. Some kids get afraid from a ball, and hence don’t like playing volleyball or softball, but might enjoy running. A child who doesn’t like running might enjoy swimming. Someone who does not like basketball may like gymnastics. Trying to address your child’s concerns and understanding his problems can help him succeed in whatever activity he chooses. So, ensure that you are a supportive parent and do not criticise his choice and his decision.

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Aarohi Achwal holds a bachelor’s degree in Commerce and a master’s degree in English Literature. While working as an intern for an English daily, she realised that she likes writing above anything else. The idea of being heard without having to speak appeals to her. She likes to write research-based articles that are informative and relevant. She has written articles on pregnancy, parenting, and relationships. And she would like to continue creating content on health and lifestyle.