Every parent knows how difficult it can be to get their child out of the house and active. With so much entertainment going on inside – think the internet, Playstation, and television – it’s a hard sell to say to your child, ‘why not go out into the cold and throw a ball around’ and then expect them to agree to it. If you’re able to get your child interested in a sport, however, then there won’t be a battle – they’ll go out there and play because they want to. And isn’t that the dream?
Let Them Decide
But of course, you can’t hand your child a football and expect them to take to it instantly. You have to let your child decide on their own which sport they’re naturally drawn to. If they express an interest, then sign them up for a taster training session. It might only take an hour before they realize they’re hooked, or they discover it’s not for them, and there’s been no great loss.
When they do find a sport they like, don’t instantly rush to buy all the equipment or make that sport their whole life. Start slow. Think of a passion for a new sport as a planted seed; it needs to be watered and given time and space to develop. If you get ahead of yourself, you might find that any interest they had in the sport has been quickly erased before it even began. Essentially you should adopt a cautious, casual approach until you know they’re interested in it.
Make It Fun
At the beginning of their sporting journey, the best thing you can do is to make it fun for them. Regardless of what the sport is, you should forget about making it competitive – save that for later, when they want to test their skills against others. On warm summer days, you can host silly games between the family, in which the objective is to have fun playing the game with just a hint of competitiveness. For example, if they’re a budding cricket player then look at buying cricket trophies and hand them out to whoever wins. Nothing breeds passion more than having a good time!
The Right Encouragement
In the early days you’ll be taking a backseat and letting the sport get its grips into your child, but eventually there’ll come a day where you need to offer some gentle encouragement. How you handle this might affect your child’s sporting future, so tread carefully. Come on too strong and you run the risk of sapping the fun out of the game; don’t offer enough robust encouragement and it’s possible they’ll let the sport drift away when really they should still be playing it.
If you have multiple children, then a good tactic is to introduce a game that everyone can play. If everyone enjoys it they won’t even see it as playing sport – they’ll just be having fun with their siblings; only you will know how active they’re being!
Also contributor at leading business site zenruption