How to Help Your Kids Love Sports and Enjoy an Active Lifestyle

Sports are a great way for kids to stay fit, improve skills, make friends and have fun. On the other hand, children put a lot of pressure on themselves to perform - and that can lead to tears and frustration. Here are some ways to help your child enjoy sports and active lifestyle.
  • Give Your Child a Say. Maybe you love figure skating, and have longed to see your kid doing graceful pirouettes, imagining the picture you never got the chance to see. Don’t let your dreams get in the way of actually asking your child what sports he wants to play. Ask him what types of activities he prefers - and even if you are surprised by his choice - give it a try. A child who has a say in the process is more likely to enjoy sport.
  • Always Give a Positive Feedback. Your main role as a parent is to support your child whether he wins or loses. Cheer for them and be positive about their sport performance. No matter the age of your kid, prepare for ups and downs in regards to interest in particular sports, and accept his or her desire to try something new.
  • Encourage Time Away. Sports may take up a lot of time, making a child feeling that he has no time for his own life. The best solution is to schedule throughout the week other activities that your child enjoys. The summertime is a great opportunity to introduce your kids to new activities that aren’t available during the school year. A good practice is to determine one day off per month as the day when your child will choose fun activities for the whole family.
  • More Play, Less Pressure. Sports are such a big deal that sometimes parents can go too far. Perhaps because they think that focusing on sport will help their kids to get a scholarship, many parents push too much stress to the results and not the process. Your kids are playing sports to be healthy and active, so they should not be too tired to do homework, spend time with family and friends, and do other fun activities.
  • Explain the Benefits of Sports to Your Child. You probably already know how sports can help people in life, teaching. Explain to your child how developing skills like goal-setting, motivation, discipline, commitment, and cooperation can help to perform better at school, make friends, deal with bad mood and complicated social situations. Talk to your child about why you are encouraging him or her to play sports, let him know about your own positive sports experiences. Don’t forget to mention the health benefits as well - things like increased energy, amazing physical skills and beautiful fit body.
  • Be a Positive Role Model. It’s hard to make your child to love sports if you spend your leisure lying on the couch in front of TV screen or every evening your child sees you with a laptop trying to finish extra work. Find a form of physical activity that fits you and devote to it at least 3-5 hours per week. No need to try to get into team sports to show a good example - yoga, jogging, tennis, swimming or similar kinds of activities will benefit your health and make you a positive role model for your child.
Most kids who enjoy sports want to be with their friends, get a nice uniform to wear, and have lots of fun. A kid who isn’t having fun isn’t likely to enjoy playing a sport, and is more likely to quit or resist. Ease their anxiety by encouraging them to always do their best but reminding them that winning isn’t the only thing that matters. Stress that they’re there to have fun and not to take themselves too seriously.