How do I know what sport is right for my child?
Deciding which sport to get your child involved in can be a tough decision. A great way to choose is to let your kids decide for themselves! Let them try a variety of sports and find what they like most. A good idea to help narrow down the list is to try a different sport each season, for example netball or rugby in Winter, cricket or tennis in Summer and basketball in Spring.
Introducing your child to sport
Watching games on television or in real life provides a good introduction to sport, as your child's interest as a spectator will play a role in whether they will also enjoy playing it. Explain the rules to your child and ask them about which aspects they like and don't like about the sport. Pay attention to which sports they are asking the most questions about, which ones they understand the most and which sports stars they look up to, as these are excellent indicators.
Body type and natural ability
Particular body types suit some sports more than others. For instance, shorter, stronger kids may be more suited to rugby league and taller, slimmer children may suit basketball. If they have good hand-eye coordination, softball or tennis may be a good fit. While this is not a hard and fast rule, natural ability can help determine their enjoyment and chance of success at a sport and children are generally drawn to sports that they feel they are good at.
Physical conditions and limitations should be considered prior as injuries can more easily occur if a child is not physically ready. Check with a doctor before your child starts a sporting activity. Do they have the height, strength, flexibility, endurance or other traits required?
Emotional maturity is another consideration as sports can be particularly strenuous and demanding at times. Older children can better handle competition and pressure whereas younger children may not be as good at following directions or understanding teamwork.
For introverted children, individual sports may be a better fit than team sports as a lot of noise can be intimidating for them. Gymnastics, swimming, golf, tennis, cycling and athletics can be ideal as they won't have to interact with many people at once. They may also prefer sports where their own skills are the most important factor.
More extraverted children may prefer team sports like basketball, rugby, netball, cricket or soccer. This can be great for developing communications skills and dependability. If they already know a family member or friend on the team, this can make it less daunting and help them settle in faster.
What if my child doesn't like any sports?
If your child doesn't like a sport, it's important not to pressure them as this may affect their motivation. Look beyond the traditional sports and consider less popular sports such as golf, water polo and volleyball. Some children may prefer other activities such as music or reading. If this is the case, encourage physical activity at home and spend quality time together outdoors by going on runs, bike rides or kicking a ball around.
Trying various sports can be a great learning experience for your kids and a great way for them to socialise and get in their daily exercise. Kids will naturally gravitate towards what they enjoy and excel at, so giving them a few options will help them find a sport that suits them personally.
Little Rookie is a dedicated kids sports equipment store that will have something for every child, whether it be a full cricket kit or fun backyard games to play with friends. Visit us at our Camp Hill store in Brisbane or shop online at your convenience.