Have you ever been to a playground and seen kids sitting at the side? They mover around and that too with pace and energy much beyond an ordinary parent. What might surprise parents is that getting a child out in the playground, irrespective of the weather, sets them up for a lifetime of a physical habit.
Growing up kids miss getting out and about and as life changes their physical activity drops. Many reasons contribute to the inactivity:
- Assignments at school.
- Low morale and self esteem when they realise that sports are competitive.
- A lack of encouragement and unapproachable role models.
- Busy parents.
- The security situation today makes parents less comfortable in letting kids out on their own and play with other kids in the neighbourhood, Most physical activity is organised which limits their opportunities to get exercise.
It is paramount that parents take active interest in their children get involved in physical activity helping them fit it into their everyday lives. Early introduction and maintenance of healthy patterns will help these last into adulthood.
Let alone adults, kids also need to be active. Once active the right chemicals are triggered in their brains and in turn they can do the things they want and need them to do. Regular exercise provides many benefits:
- Robust development of muscles and bones.
- Optimal body to mass index.
- Decreased risk of developing cardiovascular diseased and diabetes.
- Improved and regular sleep
Positive outlook and approach in life.
- Physically active kids through organised approach results in high levels of motivation, focus, and success in school. Team sports that enable mastering physical skills and team work result in confidence at every age.
As children grow and understand the competitive nature of sport their motivation levels to just get out and play dwindle. There are innumerable ways of motivating kids but a few proven ones are:
Getting kids involved in activities relevant to their age and ability: children tend to get bored or frustrated when they find themselves out of place.
Involve children in different types of sports like rugby, football etc.: kids need activities that are supported with appropriate facilities, sign them up for organised session or sports teams, and taking them to different types of active spots.
Keeping fun as the focal point: Enjoyment has to be at the forefront of playing sport.
Enjoyable activities make kids do more. Learning a skill that they can display at school — whether it’s playing football or running a race — improves their capabilities and helps the feeling of achievement, especially when the effort is noticed and praised. Positive feelings often make kids want to continue the activity and even try others. Failure is a part of life and not every attempt at sport results in a positive feel. It is key to motivate a child when they are feeling disappointed or let down by the situation or the team.
The best way for kids to get physical activity is by coming with a schedule that they can work with. Children love structure and routine and having one in their daily routine gives them something to look forward to. Toddlers and pre-schoolers should play actively several times a day. Schools should introduce multiple breaks for children to get active, experience fresh air and then come back to tax their brains. Children between 6 and 17 years should be active for more than an hour each day. This nearly always needs being part of an organised club.
Age drives a child into specific activities but his or her personality drives the choice even more. A child who likes his or her own company probably will take to individual sports like swimming, running or cycling. A social child might like team sports like kids football, toddler rugby or cricket more. These traits couple with the inherited genes decide the activities an individual takes on as they get older.
Does your child fit into any of the below?
- Lazy: This child prefers sitting by the side when his friends play.
- Go with the flow: This child would love to be active but lacks ability in a specific sport and hence has a significant risk of getting discouraged in a competitive environment.
- The athlete: This child has athletic ability, and can make a fortune if he or she focussed the effort required to excel.
Once parents understand the above they are in a better position to support their children and expose them to those activities that will suit their personalities, ones which provide obvious enjoyment and pride. Not everyone needs to aim at being an elite athlete, it is just as useful to play sport that keeps one happy and fit.
Whatever their fitness personality, there is a sport for everyone and coaches need to understand that to help children choose and fall in love with their . A positive attitude will help a child who’s thinks activities are for others.
The best way for a coach or parent to encourage a kids’ interest is by being active themselves. If started early enough, children will consider activity as a normal and fun part of everyday routine where the family bonds with each other.
Why not book a taster so that your child can try a new sport with Sport4Kids today?