It is common for kids to attend some after-school or weekend activities, and sports are a popular choice for parents and children alike.
But there are more choices than ever with every sport you can imagine on offer somewhere. Knowing which sport your child will enjoy and be worth the expense can be challenging. Here are some tips to help you figure it out.
Listen to your child
Depending on the age of your child, they may already be able to tell you what they want to do. This is great – your job is a lot easier! If your child is unsure or a bit younger, however, they may not be sure if a sport will suit them.
If your child is constantly talking about things they love, it can be hard to narrow it down to the things they actually enjoy. But there may be something that all their interests have in common. For example, throwing might be a common theme so introducing them to basketball or rounders may be an option.
Little ones tend to throw themselves around a lot so gymnastics could be a way for them to channel their energy into a sport.
Consider the benefits and skills
There are many benefits to joining a sports club. If your child is a football fan then joining a club can teach them teamwork and leadership skills. Communication skills can also be gained as children learn to negotiate strategies and be adaptable against other teams.
Your child’s mental health will also benefit from sports as they may find new friends with a built-in commonality. This sense of belonging and identity will grow further with team bonding such as wearing the same kit and feeling unified. It may be that your child’s after-school hobby grows into a fully-fledged career if their mental and physical well-being is taken care of.
Your child’s physical and mental capabilities
As much as your kid might want to be the next rugby star, for example, it may not be possible due to their size or physicality.
It is worth considering how complex the sport is as well. Some have more rules than others and children may find it harder to keep up with them than others.
You should also factor in the amount of spare time your child has. Teenagers will have more energy and time than younger kids, but they may have more academic pressure such as homework and revision.
Children can get burnt out the same as adults so it is important that you prevent that as it will have an impact on all areas of their lives. You may want to limit extracurricular activities to one or two sessions a week. This will give your child enough time to relax and complete homework without feeling pressured or too tired.
As your children grow, you can regularly reassess their timetable to keep things manageable. Your children will be able to help you make this decision as they grow more self-aware.