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Getting Kids into Sport

There are many benefits to staying active – it’s good for the body and the mind. But not all kids are keen on sport and today the multitude of other activities available to kids as well as the lure of TV and computers are contributing to many kids being less active.

Sport however, is not just team sports. Any sort of activity or active play is a great form of exercise, especially if it involves lots of running. Grab a ball after dinner and head outside for half an hour. The benefits will be there for the whole family, both physical and emotional – there is nothing better than laughing with the kids as you all run after a ball. This sort of play can double as a way to introduce your child to the basics of more organised sports. If they can have a physical foundation for, say, soccer or netball, it will give them the confidence to approach playing a team sport later. It is also a great chance to bond with and talk to your child.

Another thing you can do is talk to your child about what sort of exercise may appeal to them. Understandably rough and tumble team sports don’t appeal to all kids. There are lots of “individual” pursuits for kids who are so inclined. Sports like cycling, archery and badminton are growing in popularity and accessibility. You can also think outside the square – have you considered dance? There are plenty of dance studios that offer more than just traditional dance and cater for everything from ballet to hip-hop.

This is not suggesting it will be an easy thing to get an otherwise sedentary kid interested in sport, but working with your child to form a life-long exercise habit will affect more than just their physical health. In the long run it will definitely make them happier.