It’s a fact that many kids are moving away from organized sports and after school activities. More and more children are instead sitting in front of the television watching their favorite shows or playing video games that aren’t getting them active. There are many reasons kids are not participating in organized sports, here are just a few of those reasons:
Too Much Pressure – Kids like to play with other kids and have fun and many school sports teams have taken that away. The pressure to win nowadays seems to be much more important than having fun and while kids may need to have some pressure on them to develop their skills some are taking it way too far and kids are just not having much fun participating in sports and activities anymore.
Negative Feedback – Have you ever heard your child’s coach or other parents say to their children “Yes, you did your best but we didn’t win.”? Winning is all that some coaches and parents can see and negative feedback like this isn’t much of an incentive for kids to keep playing their best. Whether kids win or lose there should be something to be proud of and comments should consist of positive feedback instead of negative feedback.
Burnout or Exhaustion – I remember when I played sports in high school, our practices mainly consisted of a 3 hour session; more than half of that practice time was nothing but running or doing drills while the rest was actually practicing the sport. Because practices can go so long and kids work so hard during their practices it’s easy to get exhausted and get burnout. Add in the amount of work it takes with keeping up their grades, their social life and other activities the exhaustion and burnout is even greater.
The above are just a few reasons kids are no longer interested in participating in sports. Your child may have different reasons but if any of the above are why they aren’t participating, below are a few ways to help.
Give Pep Talks – Coaches and parents put a lot of pressure on kids to perform these days and by doing so kids add even more pressure to themselves. Ease that pressure by telling them to do their best and be sure to stress that they are there to have fun. Whether they win or lose.
Positive Feedback – Support your child whether they win or lose no matter what. Always cheer for them and have something positive to say about their performance in the game whether it was good or bad. Let them know they’ll learn from their mistakes and that you are proud of them.
Practice Makes Perfect – It’s true…practice makes perfect so you can still encourage practice but talk to the coach if you think they are taking it overboard. There’s a huge difference between positive practicing and pressure practicing. Be sure that your child is getting the appropriate amount of calories and sleep to enhance their performance, not detract from it.
Encourage Time Away – Many kids play sports in school and then again during the summer. If this is their idea, then that is fine. But, maybe they just want to have free time once school is out, if that’s the case then let them take a break so they will enjoy the next season more.
Sports are great for physical activity and learning to work as a group so encourage but don’t push them too hard! You may always start with sports toys and see what kind of physical activity they prefer.
About the author:
Jessica Fuqua is a busy mother of twins, freelance writer, blogger and founder of Mom Fuse, a website for mothers that features parenting articles, product reviews, recipes and other great features.