Most dads love the idea of playing catch or football in the park with their kids. Maybe you’ve got your own favourite sport and can’t wait to start coaching your little star. The trouble is, not all kids are quite as physically active as they ought to be. Some simply don’t like the idea of chasing or kicking balls or riding scooters and bikes. An active lifestyle is really important to promote. So how do you encourage your kids to get involved?
Competition isn’t encouraged as much as it once was. The idea of winning is something lots of kids understand, but promoting participation might be the best approach. Think back to your own days of youth. There were undoubtedly many activities you didn’t like doing. And there were several you loved with a passion. Trying lots of different things by participating in fun mini-versions of it could be the best way to find out what your child might love.
Mini games or sports are like taster sessions for the real thing. The game might be to kick a ball into the goal. This is obviously a big part of football, but there is no need to coordinate teams, learn to tackle or face the disappointment of lost possession. You can work on refining their posture, practice kicking with both feet, and help them learn to aim. Each of these skills can easily transfer to a wide range of physical activities and sports. Best of all, it’s fun.
Playing in opposition to your child can seem like fun for you, but your child might feel like they haven’t got a chance against a skilled adult like you. And if you let them win, they’ll know it and feel even worse! Concentrate on non-competitive tasks and activities. Passing the ball to each other, taking it in turns to ride the bike, or simply jogging gently around the park can be fun for both of you.
When it’s time to introduce a little more competition, why not organise a fun sporting event for the neighbourhood kids? Maybe you can plan something just for family and friends. Head to websites like www.trophiesplusmedals.co.uk to find some awards and rewards for winning, participating, good effort, and player of the match. You might come up with some other ideas that will give everyone a chance of winning something.
Your child undoubtedly has friends that are quite influential in their lives. Find out what extra-curricular activities they’re involved with. Perhaps your kids can join the same clubs? Everything is more fun when you’re enjoying the social life that comes with it. It might also offer you more opportunities to get involved with your child’s sporting interests. Parent volunteers are always needed, especially when it comes to coaching and supervision.
Avoiding pressure is tricky when you’re trying to encourage your child to do more activity. Remember, you want them to enjoy it, so focus on the things they like to do the most. You’ll always find skills from one sport can cross over into the next. What do your kids love doing?