How to Include Exercise in Your Kid's Life Outside of Team Sports

Photo by Valeria Ushakova:

Even though team sports help improve their social skills and are great for every kid’s fitness, coordination, and self-esteem, some kids can directly or indirectly refuse to participate.

Why your Child Might be Refusing to Participate in Team Sports

If you want to address the problem and find solutions that suit your child best, it is essential to understand why they refuse to participate in team sports. The following are reasons why your kids might not like team sports:

Their basic skills might still be developing - Most kids under seven years old cannot comprehend the rules of the games, the attention span, and the physical needs required to play organized team sports. Therefore, they tend to get frustrated due to the constant failure to successfully play the game, making them reluctant to participate in the sport. They require a lot of practice to overcome this challenge.

The child might find the league or coach too competitive. Kids who are reluctant athletes tend to get nervous around autocratic couches or when participating in highly competitive sports whose sole focus is winning. Therefore, parents should get as much information as possible before signing their kids up for sports programs.

Some kids get stage fright - shy kids get uncomfortable around other kids and do not do well in teams. Some might be worried about letting their coaches and teammates down. This can make them shy away from team sports. Parents should communicate to their children that the goal of the sport is to have fun.

Some kids are still looking for the right team sport for them. They might not like the team sports available because they are not good at them, but a little exploration might be suitable for your child.

Some other barriers include the differences in maturity rates in children and the differences in body physique. Small-bodied kids can feel uncomfortable playing with the other bigger kids. Parents should find a sport that matches their child's physical attributes best.

Here are a few ways to keep your kids fit if they dislike team sports:

Introduce Lifelong Activities

When choosing an activity for your child, pick one they can enjoy for a lifetime. This keeps them from getting bored or insecure about the sport, and they, therefore, tend to participate in it much longer. Hiking, walking, swimming, and biking are great options to consider.

Take them Outside

Take your kid outside and sneak in an exercise. You can take them to the park, get them to climb a tree, or play tag with them. You can also take them on a treasure hunt where they collect ‘treasure’ or get them to do a chore with you. Making an activity sound as fun as possible will keep the child from thinking of it as an exercise and help ensure that they stay active.

Try Introducing Individual Sports

Most kids who do not like team sports tend to do well in individual sports. Swimming, gymnastics, wrestling, track and field, archery, diving, weight lifting, and golf are some tremendous individual sports that you can introduce to your child to keep them active.

Set a Good Example for your Child

Your child will follow the example you set. If you do not participate in physical activities, your child will not prioritize sports. Find something physically engaging to do and ask your kid to join or help you. This helps keep them active and gives you quality bonding time with your child.

Use Dance and Theater to get them to Exercise

Get your kids moving by turning on the music and having a dance-off. Dancing is a great way to get them to exercise. You can get them to do some kids yoga poses or enroll them in dance classes, cheerleading, or baton twirling. They can also participate in theatre productions at their school. All these are great ways to get your kids to exercise.

Get them to Find New Hobbies

Physically engaging hobbies like woodworking, bowling, fishing, and skateboarding can be an excellent way for your kids to exercise. When they find something they like doing, please encourage them to build their confidence and get them to keep doing it. They probably won’t even notice that they are exercising.

Even though team sports are great for kids, they are not the best option for everyone. Some kids are too shy to play in teams, while others lack the physical attributes required to play some sports. Parents should communicate with their kids to find out why they are reluctant to participate in team sports. If team sports are a no-go for your kid, follow the strategies outlined above to keep them active.

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