Getting your child to participate in team sports

Seeing your children playing the sport you love most can be a fun and rewarding experience, for both parents and children alike. The children not only get the benefits of physical activity, it can also be rewarding for them emotionally to play sports as well. Dealing with the realities of game play can help teach important lessons about teamwork, how to win and how to accept losing.

However, not every child is as interested in taking part in team sports. If you are trying to get your child to want to play, here are a few tips that can make it easier for you to do so. You do need to remember, however, that you may still end with a child who is not at all interested in playing team sports and, if this is the case, you have to accept that as well.

Getting your child interested in team sports starts long before the tryouts. You should watch sports with your child and explain the game, the rules and why you love it. Maybe it is because you played when you were a child and found it much fun. If you can make it personal rather than just wanting them to do something, you may interest a child more in playing sports. However, you need to make sure that your child is not simply playing to make you happy.

Signing your child up for the sport is not the end of the road. You need to make sure that you are continuing to be part of your child’s sports experience. Come to games and volunteer to practice with your child outside regular game play. This shows the child that playing can be a fun way to spend time with you. But, it should not be the only activity you are doing with your child because for young children, it can make them bored and burn them out quickly.

When they are playing, be positive. A child will not want to play if you are always criticising their performance. Don’t get angry if they miss a chance to score or if they make a mistake. If there is something they can improve on, don’t always bring it up, simply use the time you spend practicing with your child to focus a little more on that particular skill.

You also need to make sure that you don’t interfere with the team coach. Nothing is worse for a child than seeing their parents screaming and yelling at their coach. It can make them not want to play at all and can lead to fights between you and your child. If you do have a disagreement, bring it up after the game in a quiet and nonconfrontational method.

Children can quickly go from being happy and excited about the idea of playing on a team to being less than enthusiastic about the idea. If you are friendly and encouraging, you will often find that your child will flourish with this experience rather than fighting it and turning it into an unproductive power struggle.

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