Tips for Raising a Non-Athletic Child
Is your child the one that would rather sit indoors and play on the computer? Maybe a little clumsy and finds it difficult to catch a ball? If so, you’re not alone! Many parents find it difficult to help their children find a sport or activity that they like, due to busy schedules, personality traits, and fitness levels.
We all know it’s important to get our kids active, but it’s also important not to pressure your child into something they don’t like. Sports can do more than just contribute to a physical development. Sports can help with team building, discipline, life long friendships, healthy work life and time management. To grow into healthy individuals there needs to be a reasonable balance between work and play.
What Fitness Personality is your Child?
Understanding your child’s individual personality traits can be a great start to help guide them towards the right sport or hobby. Every child is different, embrace it!
- The non athlete: May lack athletic ability, lack in the interest of physical activity, or both.
- The casual athlete: Interest in being active but isn’t a star player, and is at risk of getting discouraged in a competitive athletic environment.
- The athlete: This child is committed to a sport or activity, and is likely to ramp up practice time and intensity of competition.
Benefits of Sports
Getting them involved in some type of hobby will teach life lessons in the long run. Here are the obvious, but maybe not so obvious benefits of sports:
- Good Health – Sports help children develop physically as well as mentally. The discipline associated with sports teaches them healthy habits such as eating right and exercising.
- Team Player – This teaches children how to coordinate with peers to complete a common task or goal. This develops communication skills, the capability to assess situations, and the ability to make immediate decisions.
- Confidence – The ability to perform in front of peers, their parents, or to represent their school in a tournament instills confidence and a sense of pride in them
- Coping with Failure – Accepting a loss or failure is a big thing, This is a life lesson that will teach children to accept failures, learn from them, and improve.
- Surpass limitations – Playing a competitive sport helps children to identify their limitations and work towards overcoming them. This will build on self-improvement.
Dragging them by the ear may help get them to an event, a class, or even a practice. But it won’t motivate them. Here are some tips on ways to inspire your non-athletic child:
- It helps to start early when introducing them to a sport or hobby. Watch your child as they develop.
- It is important that your child enjoys the sport they play. Forcing a child into sports may put off the idea of playing completely.
- Look for a coach who can instill a passion for the sport in his or her players. Such a teacher is better than one who emphasizes winning at any cost.
- Take an active interest in your child’s sporting achievements. Ask questions, attend some practice sessions, and be there at tournaments to support their efforts.
- In case, your child prefers some other extra-curricular activity—such as art, music, or theater—in preference to sports, accept it. The important thing is to understand that involvement in these activities helps them develop into a balanced individual.
- Have your child play with other kids interested in the same sport. This is when sport becomes fun and not a chore!
As your children get older, it can be a challenge to get enough daily activity. Despite any barriers, parents can instill a love of activity and help children fit it into their everyday routines. In the end “You can bring a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink”.