Most of us could stand to be a little more involved in sports and fitness, usually for our health’s sake. However, it is the next generation we should really be concerned about. Paired with the overall decrease of quality in diets, the increasingly sedentary nature of life as a young person is leading to an epidemic of obesity. One that we can help to fight by making sure our kids get motivated about the sporting opportunities that they have.
Get on the field
One of the best ways to help your kids more excited about sports is to help them see the spectacle for themselves. You don’t need to go looking for NFL tickets (though that can certainly be an exciting day out in and of itself), even going to see the local teams can be a great event for a kid, especially if they’re with a parent or two who is there having a great time alongside them. If one sport isn’t taking to them, then you can try going to a different one, instead.
Get them into the story
Some of the more empathetic kinds of kids, or those who might like a good story, might not immediately see the excitement of the game until they get a closer look at the human drama, too. Regale them with stories of some of the greats who had interesting lives both on and off the fields. You can dramatize things by watching all kinds of movies with them, be it boxing movies, basketball movies, or otherwise. If your kid connects with a story, you might be surprised by the lengths they would go to in order to connect to that story.
Engage their brains
Some kids grapple a lot better with the detail of things than they do emotions. We might call these the “intellectual type,” but there’s nothing to stop them from becoming more active, as well. Get them interested in the local sports, checking the rugby lineup with them to see how different teams fare against each other, what records they have, and the histories of teams, for instance. If you can get their brains plugged in, their desire to become more physically involved will grow naturally, too.
Make it about effort
One of the easiest ways to get kids out of a sport is to start piling the pressure on. There’s no need to deny the competitive side of the sport, and to encourage kids to do their best and to improve their game. However, you should try to make it about personal development and better working with the team, rather than how much better they have to be than other players. Building up the importance of winning too much does make for kids who have a harder time adjusting to losses.
You can’t force your kid to like any sport. You can, however, keep trying alongside them to find the one that lights that spark. Once you do, support and join in to make sure that it sticks.