Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Choosing the Right Sport

Sports teach kids important qualities like hard work, diligence, cooperation and sportsmanship. I think finding a sport your kids likes can help them become active their whole life. The best way to find what they like, it to let them try different things.

Look at the offerings at your community rec center and sign them up for something. Also ask around to see what their friends are participating in. Do an internet search for kids activities in your area.

One of my children is a peace lover. There's not a bone of aggression in her little body. That's great -- except when you're playing sports. Couple this lack of aggression with so - so eye hand coordination, and sports with balls are not for her. That's how it is with some kids. This doesn't mean they aren't athletic and can't be active. If this is your child, think outside the box and try some sports without balls -- like rock climbing, running, skating, swimming, dance -- if you look around there are more than you think. It can give your kid a boost of confidence and he/she may find something she can get lifelong enjoyment from.

Team sports are good for learning to work together and work hard, but some kids struggle with the team dynamic and coaches and parents can get a little intense sometimes. All kids sports leagues are not alike. City Rec leagues are often less intense than competition leagues, but if you child is really good they may get frustrated with the lack of skill of their team mates.

If your child gets frustrated with team mates in sports like soccer or basketball but you still want the social interaction of being on a team, try tennis, swimming, track, or gymnastics. You're kid is still on team, but the emphasis is more on their individual performance.

Family bike rides are one of our favorites. My kids also ride to and from school, church activities, and friend's houses. It's great for them to have their own form of transportation. One of my daughters put running, swimming and biking together in a kid's triathalon.

Martial arts is a favorite for many families. Besides getting exercise, your kids will learn self control. The cross patterns of martial arts movement have been shown to stimulate brain activity.

All kids are unique, so don't be afraid to try something nontraditional when looking for ways to keep them happy and active.

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