Choosing the right sport for your child

Finding the right sport for your child is challenging and on frequent occasions, your child will start and stop their involvement in various sports teams or groups; finding the ideal sport is often deemed as a case of trial and error! 

Most sports groups allow children to participate in a few taster sessions to get a feel for the sport, without having to commit to a term or buy a uniform. This is a great way for your child to try a range of different sports and help them choose one which they enjoy the most, and wish to commit themselves to. 

Expose your child to a wide variety of sports and ask them what they like or dislike about each one. 

Before your child wholly commits themselves to a sport, it’s a good idea to make your child aware about how long they will need to commit to it. It is important for your child to understand that when quitting a sport or team mid-season/mid-term; they will be letting their fellow team members and instructors down. Once your child is conscious of this, they will appreciate and learn the benefits and importance of dedication and being part of a team.  

When considering various different sports, look to your child’s interests. Do they enjoy running around? Do they enjoy playing with other people? Have they expressed an interest in a particular sport before? What we enjoy doing in our own leisure time generally translates to what we will enjoy doing when asserting ourselves in a chosen sport. Make sure to research each sport, finding one which your child displays interest in – make sure to check what is available in your local area, also.  

Some parents find it hard to determine whether a team or solo sport is the best option for their child. Playing in a team teaches many skills such as cooperation, commitment and resilience, whilst solo-sports can teach a child self-determination and persistence. Although solo-sports are often performed on a singular basis, there are usually various opportunities for socialisation and competing amongst others. As you observe your child’s involvement in sport, try and find out what their preferences are.