Why Some Kids Don't Like Teams
Not every child has to join a team, and with enough other activities, kids can be fit without them. But try to find out why your child isn't interested. You might be able to help address deeper concerns or steer your child toward something else.
Tell your child that you'd like to work on a solution together. This might mean making changes and sticking with the team sport or finding a new activity to try.
Here are some reasons why sports might be a turnoff for kids:
Still Developing Basic Skills
Though many sports programs are available for preschoolers, it's not until about age 6 or 7 that most kids have the physical skills, the attention span, and the ability to grasp the rules needed to play organized sports.
Kids who haven't had much practice in a specific sport might need time to reliably perform necessary skills such as kicking a soccer ball on the run or hitting a baseball thrown from the pitcher's mound. Trying and failing, especially in a game situation, might frustrate them or make them nervous.
What you can do: Practice with your child at home. Whether it's shooting baskets, playing catch, or going for a jog together, you'll give your child an opportunity to build skills and fitness in a safe environment. Your child can try — and, possibly, fail — new things without the self-consciousness of being around peers. And you're also getting a good dose of quality together time.
Coach or League Is Too Competitive
A kid who's already a reluctant athlete might feel extra-nervous when the coach barks out orders or the league focuses heavily on winning.
As kids get older, they can handle more competitive aspects such as keeping score and keeping track of wins and losses for the season. Some kids may be motivated by competitive play, but most aren't ready for the increased pressure until they're 11 or 12 years old. Remember that even in more competitive leagues, the atmosphere should remain positive and supportive for all the participants.
Fitness Outside of Team Sports
Even kids who once said they hated sports might learn to like team sports as their skills improve or they find the right sport or a league. But even if team sports never thrill your child, there's plenty a kid can do to get the recommended 60 minutes or more of physical activity each day.
One sport kids love is martial Arts including Karate, Krav Maga, Tae Kwon Do and Kung Fu. These sports are fantastic for strength, endurance and flexibility and no one sits on the bench. All kids are progressing at their own rate and improving with themselves being their competition. In addition martial arts is fun for kids which keeps them going and parents love the addition of respect, courtesy and goal setting being taught. These mind and body sports are great for building life changing confidence and self esteem. As students progress in martial arts many schools have competition and demonstration teams that kids can join as their athletic abilities and confidence improves. The important thing is to keep kids active and fit enjoying a sport whether it a team endeavor or individual one.
To help your child to stay off the bench, click here to try out a couple of our Krav Maga classes or to register for our Free Krav Maga Workshop!