Should Your Child be Involved in Sports?

We all have things we are good at in life and we all have things that we would rather avoid in life. For some people, that is sports. Not everyone is interested or inclined to be involved in sports. Perhaps it is the competition that is undesirable to some. Or perhaps it is the physical aggressiveness for others. Regardless of the reason, not everyone has an interest to participate in sports.

If you find your son or daughter to be someone who is not interested in playing sports, there are a couple things that you should consider. First, why does your son or daughter not want to play sports?  The reason your child may not want to play sports may be for reasons like being afraid of balls, not liking someone who is on the team or not wanting to get dirty. Regardless of the reason, try to introduce your child to a sport that has features they value. For example, if your child does not enjoy physical contact sports like football, introduce them to sports like track or cross-country where there is less physical contact. There are plenty of different types of sports available and your son or daughter just may not be aware of the different types of sports they may enjoy participating in.

Second, does your child have the ability and agility needed to play the sports they do not want to participate in? If a child cannot physically compete in a sport, they may feel embarrassed playing that sport. It is important to find sports that are appropriate for your child’s developmental stage and physical ability. Sometimes finding a coach who is more concerned that the kids have fun may be better for your child than one who is intent on winning. Having fun will take the pressure off your child to perform while still providing your child with the opportunity to learn important skills.

Third, does your son or daughter have other interests? Let’s face it, not everyone is interested in playing a sport. And that is okay. There are plenty of other worthy pursuits that may be of more interest to your child. Perhaps your child is interested in the arts and enjoys being involved in theatre productions or playing an instrument. Or maybe they are interested in building things. Regardless of what your child is interested in, you should be supportive and allow your child to thrive in what they most enjoy doing.

It is important to be aware that your child does not have to make a choice between pursuing arts and pursuing sports. Some children enjoy both equally and should be encouraged in all of their pursuits.

For some fathers, you may be concerned that your child will miss learning important life lessons, like teamwork, cooperation and discipline, if your son or daughter does not participate in a sport. Keep in mind that there are plenty of non-sport activities that will allow your child to develop these skills as well. Consider Boy Scouts, Girls Scouts, 4-H and other youth organizations that teach children how to be responsible citizens. If you are concerned that your child will not develop active lifestyle habits if they do not participate in a sport, teach them active lifestyle habits at home. Go on bike rides with your child and make sure your child has plenty of time to play outside. Demonstrate an active lifestyle to your child and they will learn those healthy habits that are important for them as they grow up.