Why Do Some Children Not Like Sports, And How Can You Encourage Them?

Get children motivated for sports

Why do some children not like sports? Some children are naturally more athletic than others. However, everyone can find an activity that will suit them. If your child is reluctant to play sports, try to find the cause of the lack of enthusiasm. Because sports are great to keep them physically and mentally healthy! Whether that is looking at Asics or buying them a new set of golf clubs, for example, the accessories that go along with it will bring them a lot of joy no doubt.

Is the environment too competitive? The child may feel compelled to be the best, to win, or to fear the performance expected of them. This pressure can come from their parents, but also from their group or the coach of their sports team. Are they afraid of rejection?  If they feel incompetent in the sport they play, they may lose self-confidence and feel devalued. This may be the case, for example, if they are always the last chosen in a sports team. It does happen! 

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Do they need more support? The child may need the attention and encouragement of their parents to be confident. Does the chosen activity suit the child’s temperament and abilities?
Depending on their personality and skills, a child may feel more comfortable in a team sport (hockey, baseball, basketball, soccer) or in an individual sport (yoga, fencing, judo, karate, cycling). They may prefer short, but intense activities (doing relay races or sprints, for example) or endurance sports (swimming, short-distance jogging or cross-country skiing). Is the level of difficulty of the activity appropriate? To be stimulated, a child needs a challenge at their height. If the challenge is too easy or, conversely, too difficult, they will lose their motivation.

How to encourage a child to move?

Sport strengthens important parts of the body (heart, lungs, bones), reduces the risk of disease and improves mood. It is therefore important to get your child used to being active from an early age. If you want to encourage your child to move, remember that he must have fun. Suggest a few activities, but let them choose the one they prefer. Make exercise part of your daily routine as well. Allowing them to try out different sports is also a good way for them to find out what their tastes are. Choose activities that are appropriate for your child’s age and personality. While some like combat sports, others prefer running or ball games. If your child doesn’t like a sport, don’t push it. Therefore it is best to find another activity that suits them better.

Do physical activities with them for the pleasure of having a good time together and to encourage them to move. Maybe it is a walk with the dog or dancing in the kitchen together! Perhaps you go swimming every weekend. This is great when you do the sports together because it creates a bond. Give more importance to cooperation than to competition. Help your child tame failure and remind them that sport is above all a game.

Limit the hours allowed for television and video games because this can hamper their desire to go outdoors. Allow time for your child to play free activities outside and participate in sports too. Computer games are fine if they are limited. 

Encourage your child to participate in the chores of the house and to make the activity part of their daily life. For example, ask them to carry light grocery bags, help with tidying up, walk with you to school, or take the stairs. All of this will get into their mind and realise that sometimes it is better to just be physical and less lazy! Lead by example. If you participate in sports, your child will probably want to do as you do.

The development of the child from 5 years old

From 5 years old, if they move regularly, the child should master basic skills such as running, throwing, catching, jumping. Thereafter, its growth and evolution will continue to progress. Between 6 and 9 years old, their balance improves. The child begins to learn more difficult skills, such as throwing farther. In addition, it is important that a child engages in a wide variety of physical activities. This will allow them to develop a solid foundation for all motor skills such as balance, throwing, catching, jumping, swimming and running. Studies have shown that children who specialize in a sport at a young age perform less well than others as they grow older because they do not develop all of their motor skills. 

Overall, sports are great for kids and are highly recommended by all medical bodies.

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