Quite often, kids develop their love for sports from their parents. Maybe mom played in high school or dad plays basketball every weekend. It’s natural for a parent to want their child to love the same sports they do and may even sign them up for the program.
However, there may be more to discovering what the right sport for your child is than what you as a parent love. Consider that your child may have others interests or that they want to join their friends in a sport.
Choosing the Right Sport for Your Child
In discovering the right sport for your child, there may be some trial and error. And that’s fine. Here is a quick guideline:
Exposure to Variety
By introducing your child to a variety of sports, you’ll be able to see which sparks their interest. You can start by having them watch sports on TV. Ask your child what they like or dislike. Watch out for signs of enthusiasm.
Team or Individual Sport?
Maybe your child prefers a sports like tennis, swimming, or golf where they may be part of a team, but the focus will be on their individual skill. Or they may want to participate in team sports like basketball, football, or baseball. Their preference for individual or team sports makes a huge difference in the sports to choose from.
Match the Sport to Your Child
While you shouldn’t discourage your child from playing a sport that they have shown interest in because their body type doesn’t match the sport, you can still help them decide so they can have the best possible experience.
Tall kids tend to do well in basketball while kids who are shorter and stocky are better suited for football. Consider if your child’s interest and ability match the sport’s level of intensity and competitiveness.
Choosing the Right Program
Once your child is decided on a sport, it is natural as a parent to want to register them to a good program. You’ll want to find a program whose philosophy you agree with. Here are things to consider:
Does the program develop fair play, teamwork, and sportsmanship?
Is communication between coaches, parents, officials, and participants encouraged?
Are the procedures in choosing coaches and officials clearly outlined?
Have coaches and officials been trained appropriately?
What is the team selection process? Based on age, size, skill and emotional development?
Does the program ensure that the young athletes are in a safe and hygienic facility?
Do they provide the necessary safety equipment?
Are first-aid supplies, emergency medical forms, and personnel available and accessible during practices and games?
Most importantly, is the program’s mission for kids to have fun?