The attraction for sports comes from home and the early education we give to our children.
A child raised in a sedentary family is unlikely to enjoy the physical activity or to join a sports team. As a parent, you always should do what you preach and be prepared to be the first role model for your kid, because this is what actually happens.
So what we should do to motivate our children in sports?
Let’s find out together!
1. Play with your child.
Not just to teach skills but to just have fun. Sometimes, it’s better to be silly with them and let them experience the fun of sports with you. Football, running, badminton, freebee, cycling, any physical activity that could be fun for you both.
2. Let your child pick his sport.
It’s easier for children to be motivated when they enjoy the activity. Forget about your youth passions and look to his passions and aptitudes. When they play with other children, they feel what are they capable of, comparing themselves to their friends and willing to try a sport they know they are capable o sustaining. So, listen what your child really wants.
3. Give support, don’t criticize.
If he needs extra training, offer to help him and participate yourself. But, try not to use negative phrases: “your position is not good/ you move too slow” etc. Change them with encouraging ones, without sounding fake and pampering. For example you can say: “it was almost perfect it only missed a tiny more lift/ you made remarkable progress in such short time” etc.
4. Choose the child’s coach wisely.
Coaches for kids’ teams should be instructors and cheerleaders, not drill sergeants. If you evaluating potential coaches for your kid, look for a ratio of at least three positive comments (“Way to go!” “Great effort!”) for every one constructive criticism (“Let’s work together on that free-throw motion some more”). If you know your child is unlikely to enjoy playing for a hard-nosed coach who criticizes regularly, you may want to look into other options. Sometimes, it may just be best to remove your child from the team and find a better situation. If so, explain why this is necessary and is not the same as “quitting.”
5. Praise efforts, not results.
Make a ritual, for example, to celebrate after the training with the team members he is friends with. Get a special outing, play their favorite game, but don’t give a material reward.
6. Follow their friends sports.
Look for opportunities for them to play on teams with their friends, it will be much more fun and easier for them to adapt.
8. Give a break!
Give them plenty of free time to follow their own interests outside of sports. Too much emphasis on playing sports at a young age can put children on the early path to sports burnout.