Start Out

Getting your child started in sports

getting child started in sportsPhoto: Shutterstock

It is never too early to get your kids to take an interest in sports, especially since it could prove to be a fun way to exercise and make new friends! With a myriad of opportunities and facilities available island-wide, it’s easy to get them going and you may even unearth some hidden talent whilst in the middle of their learning curve.

Here are some points to keep in mind when looking to encourage your child to pick up a racquet or take a liking to a particular ball game:

1.    Give them a say
While you might think you know best, always ask your child what they prefer before making any assumptions. Allowing them to explore their interests while they are young helps them determine what they like on their own, and should subsequently result in their willingness to put in more effort.

2.    Supply options
That said, it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t provide them with options. Find out what your child is interested in and what his or her strengths are, before skewing your choices towards a range of sports fulfilling those areas. For example, if your child has good hand-eye coordination, try racket sports like badminton or tennis.

3.    Do your homework
Before you send your child off to classes, make sure you do ample research. What kind of equipment do they need? What attire will they have to wear? These are some things you should look into, to ensure that they are fully prepared.

4.    Encouragement
Starting out is never easy, and even the most skilled junior athletes will face challenges. If your child is not performing well or feels discouraged from a setback, give them some gentle encouragement. However, it could be unhealthy in the long run to keep pushing your child if he or she is truly unhappy playing a particular sport.

5.    Be prepared to switch it up
Children can be fickle and curious, so be prepared to support them in trying out different kinds of sports before making a commitment. Some kids prefer team sports, while others prefer to excel alone. There’s no one size fits all when it comes to sports.