Kids these days are getting increasingly hooked to computer games and PSP’s and the television simply adds on to the woes of the parents. There is a constant deviation from physical activities amongst the kids leaving parents worried. As news about obesity amongst kids rises as one of the biggest plagues to haunt children, parents look out for ways and opportunities to get their children involved in some sports activity.
Studies show that playing a particular sport has several other benefits for kids as well apart from the usual health benefits. Not only do sports keep kids active, it helps them concentrate better, improves their social skills and helps them learn and practice sportsmanship. However, in order to develop a child’s interest in a particular sport it is imperative that one first analyzes the kids’ age, size, ability, general interest and skills. Not all kids are natural athletes and it is essential that we first understand the reason behind their dislike for sports.
Sports can be a turn-off for kids for a multitude of reasons. One of the biggest factors that keeps kids from taking up a particular sport is of they are still at a phase when they are developing their basic skills.
Children below six to seven years of age have shorter attention spans and do not have the ability to grasp the intricacies of the rules that are required to play organized sports. When children reach this age they are able to grasp the sport better and need to practice in order to get a hang of the game. The hits and misses while learning how to play can lead to frustration and an ensuing disinterest.
It also has been noted that some children are reluctant to play team sports as they seem to be too competitive for them. Sports such as football, baseball are rigorous and focused on winning which can unnerve them. Maintaining a positive environment e ensures that the kids remain motivated and interested.
At times kids are still undecided upon the sport of their choice. They might be more comfortable playing individual sports rather than team sports. It is best to let the child explore his or her interests and decide on his own. Self consciousness can also be another very significant deterrent. Physical attributes play a very important part in this as smaller kids tend to feel more intimidated. It is very important to be able to channelize the child’s energies in the right direction and keep them from getting frustrated.
Some of the best sports to get kids involved in are basketball, baseball, football, ice hockey and soccer amongst team sports and gymnastics, horseback riding, skating and soccer amongst individual sports. Parents must understand that imposing a particular sporting activity upon a child is not going to help in developing the child’s interest in the sport.
Once the child discovers his or her own interest, they will find their own league. Infact, the emphasis should be on kids getting enough physical activity in the form of any exercise, be it sports or free play. This initial patience when exercised can lead to long term benefits by helping your child develop his or her interest in a sport that will last a lifetime.