How to Choose the Best Sport for Children?

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Choosing a Sport for Children can be confusing. The very idea of getting your child involved in an organized sport may sound promising but have you figured out what sport is going to be best for her? Up to 6 years of age, allow your child to play all kinds of games—tennis, football, swimming, basketball etc. The right sport for children can boost their physical and mental abilities. But, as a parent, you need to strike the right balance between liking for sport activities and necessity of a sport.

How to decide on the best sport for your children :

  • Talk to your child – If you have a game in mind, ask your child, what he likes about the game, how he wants to play, how he wants to succeed in that sport etc.
  • Talk to the coach about the interest of your child – Let your child and the coach discuss the requirements before closing in on any sport for children. Your child should convey what he likes while the coach should give a brief of what goes into that game. The coach should be confident about the age appropriateness of the child for the sport.
  • Play solo first – Have your child play solo first. This ways the coach identifies what his shortcomings are and where her strengths lie. Basis this it can be decided if your kid is ready to pick up that sport or not.
  • Introducing the child to the team – Exchange of ideas among peers, getting the child used to the team and the new environment will give him confidence to decide if he wants to continue with it. It develops decision-making abilities in kids, a very positive outcome of playing any organized sport for children.
  • Right Approach to the sport – Warm up and cool down session should be made a mandatory. Teaching the right approaches like how to improve skills, achieve goals, lead or be a team-player is important. 
  • Choose a sport for children that is near. Pick an academy or coach who can teach the sport to children that is ‘near me’. Also, there are really no sports for girls and sports for boys. Encourage your child in whatever sport she likes.

While the benefits of sports are many for children, research also says that if the demands and expectations exceed the maturity or the readiness of the child, the positives of the sport get negated. Hence, always keep in mind the child’s preferences and talent.

Pediatrics (Journal)

Basis the above pointers, you, in consultation with your family, can pick up a suitable sport for children. The benefits of sports for kids and its importance are many:

  • Sports make your child more confident and disciplined. It improves his self-esteem.  They also help him to stay motivated and enthusiastic.
  • Sports make him more target oriented and improves efficiency.
  • Like most kids play, sports develop team spirit. It helps improve cognitive as well as team/activity management skills. They also improve the social skills of the child.
  • They helps in developing motor skills, ensure cardiovascular fitness and stimulates muscle and bone development. Sports for kids is an important element of exercise for kids.

But also remember that if your child wants to quit, you should respect his emotions. Have a friendly conversation with him to know the reasons behind it and then work on it together. Take into account that the child has many other responsibilities as well—school, friends and just be himself. Do not pressurize him. Find a balance for him so that nothing gets neglected when deciding on a sport for children.