We all know that sports lessons matter for our kids. As well as providing all-important exercise, team sports are fantastic for helping with social skills, while activities like swimming can quite literally help to strengthen developing joints. The trouble is that, unless they’re typically ‘sporty,’ many kids take a ‘don’t like that’ stance to sports education on the whole.
As we all seek creative sporting activities to try at home, this no-go approach can become increasingly problematic, especially for parents who have limited sporting skills themselves. But, there are steps you can take to overcome the issue.
Sporting reluctance is often less about a lack of ability and more about setbacks that have been getting in the way until now. So, ahead of your next ill-fated sports excursion, it’s worth asking the following questions about your lack of success so far
1) Is there a sport that suits your child’s skill sets?
Far from trying to fit activities to our children’s capabilities or interests, many of us try to implement inappropriate sports because we feel that we should. But, just as the right book can spark a love of literature in any child, so the right physical activity can do the same.
So, throw out the ‘rule book’ and consider what would suit your child. Should you ditch the running track for a fun walk in the woods? Or, perhaps you’d be better off scrapping group sports for a solo pursuit? Ultimately, it doesn’t matter what form your child’s sporting pursuits take, as long as they get them moving and, just as importantly, engage their interest.
2) Is there something going on under the surface?
Sometimes, a general sporting reluctance is due to underlying problems. It may be that your child had a bad experience in the past that’s holding them back. Or, perhaps they suffer with joint pain each time they try to get stuck in.
Only by taking the time to recognise issues like these can you overcome them, so always take the time to talk to your child about how sports make them feel. If they do admit to an underlying issue, don’t hesitate to book them an appointment with a doctor, osteopath, or therapist who can address this root cause. With the problem out of the equation, you might just find that your next sporting attempts go down a lot better.
3) Is competition killing the fun?
The main focus of sports is to help kids exercise, yet we often make the mistake of focusing on the competitive aspect. Unfortunately, when they feel the pressure to perform ‘well,’ kids don’t always flourish or find fun in their exercise. This can prevent them from getting stuck in both now and into adulthood, and it’s something you should overcome by putting fun at the heart of every sports lesson you introduce and leaving that competitive edge at the door.
With these answers in mind, you might just find that you’re able to develop a sports lesson plan that even the most reluctant children can finally get behind.