How to get kids to try sports
While some families have no trouble getting their kids to try sports, other families struggle with "selling" the value of such programs, which could result in kids missing out on invaluable life experiences.
Youth sports allow for many teachable moments, life skills developments, and - most importantly - fun!
So why don't all children try sports? Here are just a few of the most common reasons.
First, if Mom and Dad don't find value in youth sports, it's unlikely their kids will. Second, many kids feel as though they don't have the athletic skill set needed to compete, leaving them with the mindset of "why even try?" Third, some kids feel as though youth sports are too dangerous.
The fear of getting hurt prevents them from trying out for a team. And finally, some kids are just shy, so signing up for a team may seem too scary.
Any of that sound familiar? If so, consider this:
- When Mom and Dad don't find value in youth sports, it's usually because they did not play themselves, or they may have been bombarded over the years with countless stories of anger and aggression at youth sporting events. The truth is that even if Mom and Dad did not play organized sports, it's never too late to become the parent of an athlete. You can learn as you go and you'll likely find other parents in the same situation. As far as the ugly incidents at youth sporting events go, while they do occur occasionally, the vast majority of those events proceed without problems.
- Some kids feel like they don't have the skills needed to compete, so they choose not to try out for a team. If this is your child, be sure to immediately dismiss this myth. The truth is that before age 10, most kids are generally around the same talent level. Teach your child the value of hard work and perseverance and before you know, he or she may even exceed the talent level of his or her teammates.
- While there certainly are potentially dangerous situations to be aware of, the reality is that with today's training procedures and equipment, kids are safer than ever. The key is to help your child stay focused while playing, because most injuries are the results of player inattention.
- Playing sports can be a great way for a child to come out of his or her shell. In fact, many adults say that playing sports and making friends with teammates helped them become less introverted when around people. With everyone cheering them on, kids tend to thrive. Sports are a great way for kids to develop much-needed people skills for success in sports, school, and life.
Read Dr. Stankovich's new book, Sports Success 360! The book gives coaches, parents and student athletes life strategies for performance and character development.
- The do's and don'ts of summer sports (July 2009)
- Failed school levies and athletics (June 2009)
- What is sport sampling? (May 2009)
- How to talk sports with kids (April 2009)
- Your child's team is not a babysitter (March 2009)
- Dealing with pressure (February 2009)
- Does your child have sports burnout? (January 2009)
- Help your child overcome 'choking' (December 2008)
- Help your child see challenges instead of fear (November 2008)
- You've got questions the Sports Doc has answers (October 2008)
- Interview with former gymnast Dayna Goen (September 2008)
- The psychology of injury recovery (August 08)
- Getting into the zone (July 08)
- Embracing the process of youth sports (June 08)
- Help your child handle cuts (May 08)
- Student athletes can positively affect non-athletes (April 08)
- Developing a personal portfolio (March 08)
- Athletes and risk-taking behaviors (February 08)
- Parents' unfulfilled dreams sometimes forced on child (January 08)
- 2007 Sports Doc archive
Dr. Chris Stankovich offers individual athletic counseling and team/league seminars. Read Dr. Stankovich's new book, Sports Success 360. The book gives coaches, parents and student athletes life strategies for performance and character development. Visit drstankovich.com for more details.