Birds of a feather, peanut butter and jelly, ham and eggs, and kids and sports, they all go together, and that feels right, doesn’t it? If you have children still in school, regardless of their ages, you might have the opportunity to help them decide what sport in which they want to participate. Consider it an honor that they asked for your advice.
Which Sport to Play
There are a few questions you want to think about as you help your son or daughter make this decision.
- Team sport or individual sport? Consider which may allow your child to excel. Maybe they need to learn better social skills in a team environment. If so, a team sport helps develop those skills as well as many others like leadership, communication, and CHOOSE conflict resolution.
- What is the body type of your child? Do you both want something that is highly demanding physically, or is a low impact option more suited to your child?
- You may want to take the degree of difficulty into account because we don’t want to set anyone up for failure, which could be a fatal flaw for the future.
- How much time is necessary for practice and games? Is travel required? These are all things that impact you as well as your children, so you want to know the deal up front before you make any commitment.
- How is your son or daughter reacting to suggestions? You want to see definite signs of enthusiasm here; if they don’t buy into your proposal, they won’t put their heart into learning and playing.
- If finances are of concern to you and your family, ask the potentially problematic questions about what equipment and supplies are needed so that you can ascertain the impact on your wallet.
It’s okay for your child to try a variety of sports to see which one has the most appeal if you’re willing to deal with the “taxi” driving and equipment needs and expenses. In fact, diversity is a good thing!
If you are able, play with the kids in several sports at home and see which ones they enjoy the most and can excel in. Watching games on television is another option. While it could be a little misleading watching the professionals, it would give them a good idea of the effort involved in the sport. It’s also quality bonding time!
A few other general notes to share with you below:
- Ask the pediatrician for a checkup to be sure the kids are healthy before starting a new sport.
- Discuss accountability and responsibility with your child before they start playing. They should understand the commitments involved and what the consequences are of not accepting responsibility.
- If your kids are a bit overweight, consider getting them in better shape before they start a sport. Bike riding, playing on a rebounder or trampoline or just walking would be better than being sedentary and reading or playing video games.
- We can’t all be football superstars. You can consider something more off the beaten path, like martial arts, fencing, golf, track, and field, or dancing as options.
- We know this is easy for us to say; however, try not to make your sport or your accomplishments, theirs. They need to make a choice and get involved in something they can love as much as you did.
Patience, practice, perpetual support and a reasonable period of time (our four P’s) are what you all need as you embark on this new quest! Try to make it fun!
Tell us what sport your kids are playing and how did they get to a decision? Can you think of an entertaining story you or your kids experienced while playing or practicing a sport? Was your kid the one who scored for the other team?