How to Get Your Child Interested in Sports

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  • How to Get Your Child Interested in Sports

    When it comes to getting you child interested in youth sports, it can either be the most funexperience you have with your child or the most frustrating. Being a sports lover myself I was verypleased when my son started showing signs that he was interested in things like baseball,basketball, football, and soccer. It was not all that difficult to get him further involved in sports,both playing and watching. However, I have some friends who would love for their child to showmore of an interest in youth sports, and they ask me what I did to get my son engaged in the gameon the field. I always point out a few things that I did with him that seemed to help.

    Some Kids Just Are Not Interested in Youth Sports

    One thing that is obvious when my son is practicing or playing with him team is that there are somekids that simply are not into it, and probably never will be. If your child would always rather bedoing something besides running around the field or catching ground balls, then you might be out ofluck.

    I'm certainly not a child psychologist and I do not have a house full of kids, but here are some thingsI have done to engage my son in sports.

    Explain the Game to Your Kids

    Learning a new game is a confusing experience for a young kid. Other kids running around, coachesgiving constant instruction, parents yelling encouragement (hopefully), and umpires and refereesscowling in official looking uniforms.

    On top of that, there are all sorts of rules to learn. If a young player does not understand the rulesor even the goal of the game they are playing it can be difficult for them to get motivated or knowwhat to do on the field. Why throw the ball to first base if they don't understand the importance ofouts, or even what an out is?

    I have seen kids start to have so much more fun at youth sports once they simply understand howthe game is played. When that deer in the headlights look leaves their face, and they know what todo with the ball they start to become more confident and enjoy the time they spend on the field or onthe court so much more.

    Explaining a sport takes a little time, but there are several ways to do it that are fun and enjoyablefor everyone.

    Watch a Game on TV

    The easiest way that I have found to help a child learn the rules of a game is to watch the sport ontelevision together. Watching on TV allows for your kid to ask questions about the rules and objectof the sport. It also lets them see the sport being played at a high level and helps them see the rightplays made most of the time. At a typical t-ball game most balls end up going between the infielderslegs and throws end up just about anywhere on the field. But by watching a Major League Baseball

  • game, your child can see what they are supposed to do when the ball gets hit their way.

    Go to a College or Professional Game Together

    Even better than watching a game on TV is going to an actual game together, for all the samereasons that it can be beneficial to watch from your living room. However, you get the added bonusof seeing the players up close and personal which can be inspiring to a young child just learning asport. Think about the first time you saw how green the grass is on a baseball field or how tallcollege and NBA basketball players are. That same level of excitement exists today and can help achild become more interested in sports.

    Find Time to Play Outside Together

    It is one thing for a kid to try to find joy in a sport when they are at their own practice or their owngame. It is another thing when the kid can play the game with you at home or at the park. Not onlyare you there to help reinforce good skills, but kids like to play any kind of game with their parents. When you can combine the fun of playing together with a sport that you hope they becomeinterested in, you could very well be happy with the results.

    Find Interesting Ways to Make the Game More Fun Outside

    Once you are outside, it can be beneficial and a lotof fun to invent games to play that help your childwith their fundamentals. If your son or daughter isanything like my son, then they do not want to goout and just play catch or shoot free throws. I havehad to create games that work on those things. One of our favorites is a game called Hit theBucket. I can't claim to have invented this gamesince I remember playing it as a kid, but my sonloves to play. We turn a bucket on its side, standhttp://www.chron.com/sports/ about 10 feet away with a baseball and practice throwing the ball intothe bucket. If the throw is successful then we go back a few feet until we are about 50 feet away. The first one to make the throw from that distance is the winner.

    There are ways to do this with just about every sport. If you have a competitive kid then before youknow it they will be practicing their fundamentals without even knowing it. Hopefully that can leadto more excitement for the sport as they progress to become better players.

    Make a Point to Comment on Success

    It doesn't matter what the job, positive reinforcement breeds confidence and more joy and interestin what you are doing. This is especially true with kids trying out a new sport. At practice or games,make sure to encourage them when they do something good. I'm not saying never to correct badplay, but give them a reason to come back with a smile on their face the next time they play, and

    http://www.chron.com/sports/

  • your child will be more likely to be interested in youth sports.