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How to motivate your kids to take up sports
Now that the kids have returned to school after lockdown, what better time to encourage them to get active and take up new sports? Regular exercise is important for a child’s physical development, but it’s not always easy to get your children into sports. Here we explore the ways how!
From improving sleep, feeling fitter, stronger and more energetic, there are many benefits of keeping active, but it has to be engaging or children won’t take part. Children should be active for at least 60 minutes every day and three sessions a week of physical activity should strengthen the muscles and bones.
Sports are a great way to keep children fit and healthy as well as boosting their overall wellbeing. But not all children feel confident enough to join clubs especially sports teams if they have low self-esteem. The best thing you can do is support your child and try to motivate them to take up sports and here are a few ways how.
Bring a friend
After-school sports clubs and weekend football matches are a great way of getting your children to meet new people and to improve their communication skills. Being part of a team gives children a sense of belonging and helps them learn how to be a team player.
If your child is a bit shy, why not ask them to bring a friend along, it will make playing sports more fun and memorable. The social interaction and companionship that team sports provide is crucial for a child’s social interaction.
Lead by example
Children look up to us and tend to copy our actions, if we’re not keeping active then why should they? Get out in the garden or visit your local park and have a kick about or play a game of rounders. By incorporating exercise and sports into your daily routine you will create a sense of normality.
Tell your kids about all the sports you love and maybe show them photos of when you played sports back in the day! Some children love to follow in their parent's footsteps.
Make it fun
Don’t take sport too seriously, try to generate a bit of interest first before they join a team. Make up your own fun game to test your child’s ability and see what they’re good at for example, catching, throwing and running.
Remember, children have a short attention span and grow tired of activities that drag on for a long time so move onto a new game if you see them getting restless.
Don’t be pushy
Don’t force your children to participate in just one sport, overloading the week with different training sessions and games can feel more of a chore than an enjoyable activity. Encourage a variety of different sports and see which they like the best.
Never put too much pressure on your kids, don’t just enrol them into a sports club you want them to be part of, it has to be your child’s choice. Remember, all kids are different and there are plenty of sports out there that will suit your children and their abilities.
Generate interest in sports and activities by talking about all the different types of sports and if your child starts asking questions, it’s a good sign they might be interested in giving it a go. It’s important to ask them if you would like to take part and ultimately, give them a say and allow them to come to their own decision whether they want to play.
Explain the commitment of being part of a sports team and make it clear that they don’t have to continue playing if they don’t enjoy it, but encourage them to play for one season or a school term before they decide whether to continue. This will teach your children how to be responsible and to make sensible decisions instead of just quitting.
Parents play a key role in supporting and encouraging their children’s participation and success when playing sports. Sometimes all it takes is some positive words of encouragement. Kids can get easily shy about trying new things and meeting new people, but you can help boost their self-esteem by telling them they can do anything if they put their mind to it.
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Free Child Cover
Here at General & Medical, we know keeping active and healthy is an important part of everyday family life. When you take out Private Health Insurance with us this September, all your kids go FREE for the first 6 months of your cover! Get a quote using code BACKTOSCHOOL to see how little it costs to future proof the health of you and your family.
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