There are excellent reasons to get children involved in sports activities as early as possible. This includes the way local sports clubs and events provide them with physical fun, enjoyable exercise and great social opportunities.
So, before going on to explore how to get children involved in sports – and excited to be part of local teams for instance – it’s worth looking more closely at the reasons why this is so beneficial.
Let’s start with the possibility that as a parent, you are keen to find ways to stop your child spending too much time on electrical devices! Many parents and carers also want children to engage with sports activities locally as they see this as a great way to ensure they get regular exercise, which is vital for childhood health and wellbeing.
Sports participation is also an excellent way for children to make friends, and develop social skills before during and after nursery and school.
Being involved in local teams and sports events is also a brilliant way to give children opportunities to develop things like co-ordination, agility and stamina, but also essential life skills such as communication, co-operation and empathy.
Give children sports test sessions
Undoubtedly one of the best ways to introduce your child to the enjoyment they can get from local sports activities is to give them access to a wide range of options.
For instance, The Little Foxes Club offers holiday camps and classes involving a range of different sport types and for different age groups.
As parents, you can also buy a range of inexpensive sports equipment, such as balls, bats, rackets and hoops, to use in the garden, local park or on the beach.
Giving children a sample of various sports can help them to find the one that most interests and excites them. You may dream of your child being a future football star, only to find they gravitate towards rugby, cricket or tennis.
Provide access to modern sports activities too
Getting your child interested in sport at an early age can also mean adding new, as well as traditional sporting activities to the mix.
This is especially helpful as some of the popular games that children play during break times or after school with friends, are based on the latest sports trends. For example, dodge ball is now common in schools – including as part of the curriculum – as well as within local holiday sports camps. Tag rugby is also growing in popularity.
Become your child’s role model
Taking your children to watch different types of sports can also be a good way of getting them interested in trying grassroot games, clubs and coaching. If they can see how much you enjoy watching your favourite team or type of sport, your enthusiasm could be contagious.
However, there is also no reason why your children should be the only ones to benefit from the fun, fitness and friendship you get from participating in sports activities. There are all sorts of options for adults to do sports locally. Just pick something to search for, like ‘walking football teams near me’.
Find an inclusive and nurturing sports provider
Enrolling your child with a local football club or some other sports coaching option may transform a passing interest into a life-long love of that particular genre. The trick is to find local sports activities for children that start from a suitable age range, and have a reputation for delivering a high quality playing experience.
An excellent example of this is leading children’s sports provider The Little Foxes Club, which provides safe, inclusive and varied sporting experiences that are also age-specific, using high calibre coaches and play leaders. The emphasis is always on fun, even in the advanced coaching options they provide.
That last point is worth emphasising. Whatever steps you take to get your child involved in sport at a young age, you can turn them back off that pastime all too quickly if they feel under pressure or develop the fear of failure.
That can mean finding a sports activity locally that gives players opportunities for personal achievements too. These would be ways to grow your child’s confidence, while managing any anxiety or shyness.
Keeping your child engaged and involved also means you demonstrating a positive attitude and cheering them on, no matter what the weather or the outcome!
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