Kids and sports seem to go together. It has been that way in the past but the trend is moving away from that. Why? Here are some reasons along with tips to help your kids kindle a love for sports.
The Verdict is in
Many kids are moving away from organized sports. With the obesity epidemic in America, this is not a move in the right direction. So why are kids having a different look at organized sports? Here are a few reasons.
- Too much pressure – Kids like to play with other kids and have fun. Many sports teams especially in school have taken that away. The pressure to win is paramount to any enjoyment they may have gotten from participating in the activity. For parents who live through their kid’s successes, the weight can be crushing.
- Negative feedback – Yes, you did your best in the game but you didn’t win. That is all coaches and sometimes parents can see. That could be the result even for the star player on the team. With every game, there should be something to be proud of, but constant negative feedback is not an incentive to keep playing your best.
- Exhaustion – Practices can go long and hard especially after a loss to another team. Kids can feel like they are being run into the ground. This can also be detrimental to their bodies. During the adolescent and teen years, the body is still growing. Stunting that growth can be dangerous.
- Burnout – When you are inundated with the first three, the fourth is inevitable. You don’t want to play anymore because there is nothing in it for you. For many kids, there never was except what everyone else expected from their performance.
How to change it
Now that you know what keeps kids from staying in sports, here are some ways to coax them into a lifelong enjoyment of group activities.
- Pep talk – Kids put a lot of pressure on themselves to perform anyway so why add to it? Ease their anxiety by telling them to do their best. Stress that they are there to have fun and not to take themselves too seriously.
- Positive feedback – Support your kid whether they win or lose. Cheer for them and also have something positive to say about their performance in the game.
- Practice makes perfect – Encourage practice but talk to the coach if you think they are taking it overboard. Also, be sure that your child is getting the appropriate amount of calories and sleep to enhance their performance, not detract from it.
- Encourage time away – Many kids play sports in school and then again during the summer. If this is their idea, then that is fine. But, maybe they just want to have free time once school is out.
Sports are good for physical activity and learning to work as a group. Encourage but don’t push too hard.