Via Lifeopedia: Six Tips for Teaching Sports to Kids

The Benefits of Sports Activities for Children

Sports provide many benefits to children. The games teach children teamwork
and help them develop a commitment to something bigger than themselves. However, you want to ensure that you introduce sports to your child or children in a positive and life-affirming way. That way, you can make the sporting event a pleasant experience for everyone.

Six Tips for Teaching Sports to Kids

Different sports require different skills. However, there are certain steps you should always take when introducing kids to the world of sports play. These steps include the following:

1. Plan your sessions in advance.

It is helpful to introduce the sport slowly rather than just jumping into a game. For example, if you are teaching a child to play baseball, then you might want to start with learning the fundamentals of catching, hitting and pitching before you delve into all of the rules and regulations of the game. You should introduce the skills slowly and have short sessions where kids can practice fundamentals. Plan these sessions in advance so you know what activities you will be covering and what information you want to impart.

2. Get the necessary equipment.

While you don’t want to spend a ton of money on equipment until you are certain that your children will enjoy the sport, you do need to ensure that you have the basic equipment needed to participate in the sport. You can often buy used sporting equipment inexpensively online, in local classifieds or resale stores.

3. Teach safety first.

One of the first lessons that should be taught to kids is how to participate in a sport safely. Explain the basic rules of the game and the fundamentals of safety when participating in sports. Be sure to explain the importance of any safety equipment or pads that may need to be warn during play.

4. Start teaching the basics.

At each sporting session, you can spend a little bit of time on the basics of the game. You want to ensure that the kids have a good time and do not get bored by mundane practice drills. This means you will typically want to have several different activities at each session, focusing on a different aspect of game play. For example, you may plan a four minute warm-up, followed by four minutes of throwing and four minutes of catching. You can then try a catch and run activity. Both explain how to do the essential tasks of the game and illustrate the essential skills by showing the kids what they need to do. Then, give the children lots of time to practice each skill, gently offering suggestions on how to improve their technique.

5. Work up to game play.

Once the children understand the basics of how to play a game, introduce playing in a low-pressure way. You typically do not want to keep score right away. Be sure that every child on the team has a chance to play and to enjoy the sports experience.

6. Sportsmanship.

Focus on being a good winner and a good loser. Kids need to know that not everyone is going to be great at sports, and that they cannot win every game. It is important to teach kids how to be gracious whether they play well or play badly.

Keep in mind that while adults tend to be competitive in nature, unlike winning being at the top for most adults, children are playing for fun (depending on the age). For most children, fun is listed as the top reason for participating in sports. The goals of sport participation at a young age is to stay active, stay fit, learn new skills and valuable lessons such as good sportsmanship and establish a healthy competitive nature.

All parents want their children to excel in all aspects of life, which is why they pay attention to each and every detail. If you want your child to be an all rounder, you need to make sure that they are physically fit and are into sports. If you want your child to feel like a winner, you need to make sure that they have a positive outlook about sports and physical fitness in general. If you will do your job well, your child will learn a sport faster, will excel in it, and will eventually have a great self-esteem. The reason why it is important for your child to excel in sports is that it will serve as model to them when they will face other challenges in life. You need to know that your child can’t win without you and that you need to support them whether they win or lose.


How to motivate children to do their best

Teach Them about Healthy Competition

You need to teach your child that the person competing with them is a competitor and not an opponent. It is good to take a challenge and to test your limits, but they should know about all the rules that they should follow and should not view other children as ‘enemies’.  Remember that a child only performs well in sports if their parents support them through thick and thin. It is, therefore, very important that you motivate your child in sports.

Teach Them to Compete With Themselves

You need to tell your child that their ultimate goal is to improve, for which they need to challenge themselves and stay motivated. Winning is great, but tell your child that it is all about knowing their true potential. This way, your child will learn to focus on their abilities, will be more relaxed, and will perform better.

Don’t Define Success and Failure

Never equate success and failure with winning and losing, especially when it comes to sports. Remember that your child is in sports to be physically and mentally fit, and to master a skill. Teach them that losing a game does not mean failure and being an athlete is all about delivering your personal best.

Be a Facilitator Not a Coach

You are there to facilitate your child and to support them instead of bossing them around. Make sure that if you are present, you are providing them with empathy, support, and most importantly, encouragement. Unless you motivate your child in sports, they might not be able to excel.

Make the Sport fun For the Child

You need to make sure that the sport is fun for the child because this way they will not dread going to practice. When parents tell their child that they have to win no matter what, the child starts seeing the sport as a burden and starts dreading it. Make sure you tell them it’s all about having fun and is a journey of self-improvement while you motivate your child in sports.

Avoid Comparisons

Never compare your child to someone else’s because every individual is unique and have their own skills set. Make sure you tell your child that you love them unconditionally.

Tips To Help You Out

Here are some tips that will surely help you out to motivate your child in sports:

  • Let your child pick the sport they like
  • Ask all the family members to support them
  • Encourage them and help them stay motivated
  • Be present during all the important matches
  • Praise their efforts and not the result