James Ferraro, guest contributor             

When your child is growing up you want them to get into sports. It will ensure they stay fit and that is not something you can guarantee when they become addicted to video games. If they love going down the park to throw a ball around, it means they will get out of the house more. They will develop leadership skills, but they will also learn to play as part of a team

They will even find it a lot easier to make new friends. Just because you want them to love sports doesn’t mean it will turn out that way, but there are some things you can do to maximize the chances of them developing a love for a specific sport. Let’s look at what you need to do when they are growing up.

Start to play as a family

As soon as your child can walk you should try to get them involved with a particular sport. Soccer might be a good one to begin with because it’s not likely they will be able to dribble a basketball or hold a baseball bat. Take them out into the garden and let them kick it around. If they get used to playing with a ball they will be more inclined to play with one when they get older.

Don’t compare your children

If you have any older children you must not compare them to each other. The younger one won’t understand why they are not as skillful as their big brother or sister. They definitely won’t realize it’s because they are younger and they will get upset. This could affect their subconscious mind and they might start associating sport with misery.

Try out different sports

I’ve already said that you’re better starting with a soccer ball, but when they get a little older you can let them try out different sports. They might even ask you if they can try something in particular. They should get to decide what they spend their time doing, so don’t force them to play a certain sport because it was your favorite. They might be your child, but it doesn’t mean they will like the same things as you.

Focus on the positives


You don’t become amazing at any sport until you’re much older, so when they are young you shouldn’t care too much about perfection. Only focus on the positives and they will enjoy sport a lot more. One of the worst things you can do is shout at them because they keep doing something wrong. Positive reinforcement will always produce better results.

Sport should be fun

Children shouldn’t be allowed to bite each other and push the referee around, but you don’t want to have too many rules. When they are still young you only want them to think about how much fun they are having. They shouldn’t be worrying about stepping offside in case the referee awards a kick to the other team. Rules can be introduced to the game once they are older.

Break down into chunks

Don’t expect miracles when you start introducing them to certain skills. They can take a long time to get good at them, so in the beginning you should try to break something down into small chunks. Let them master a certain aspect of a skill rather than the entire thing. This will give them encouragement because they will improve a lot quicker.

Video games aren’t the answer