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How do I Get my Kids into Athletics?

22 November 2023

Being active is beneficial for everyone, especially kids. Getting children to engage in athletic activities is a great step in the right direction. We, as parents, have a pivotal influence on our kids' first experiences with sports. While some children are into team sports like football or hockey, others prefer more individual sports, like those in athletics. 

Children's health, happiness, and academic success benefit greatly from regular physical exercise, and athletics is a great way to boost their fitness and strength. But let's face it - as parents, it can be challenging to get your kids involved in sports and athletics with so many other activities available to them.

Below, we'll discuss how to get your child interested in athletics.

Make it Fun

As a parent, you need to make your child see athletic activities as enjoyable. Doing fun physical activities together can help you instil in your kid the value of athletics. Also, it can help shape their perception of what is "normal." There are several ways to go about this. Take them to a sporting event where they can see top level athletes competing and experience the thrill of being part of the crowd. Encourage them to run, organising your own races in a local park while they’re young and consider attending Park Runs with them once they’re older. Play frisbee and throw and catch balls to help them practise their aim and coordination. 

Explain the Rules

Some athletic disciplines are pretty straightforward, like the sprinting or long jump, but others are less intuitive. Your child will benefit from your assistance in teaching them sports terminology and the rules of each event. Watching athletics events live, on TV or on YouTube can help your children to improve their understanding. 

Let your Kids know that It is Okay to Fail

Children who participate in sports tend to grow with more self-assurance and resilience as they learn to accept and rebound from success and defeat. Competition is the essence of sports. Unfortunately, those obstacles sometimes make it seem like they can't handle the situation. That's how things go sometimes. The lessons our children learn from experiencing defeat on the athletic field are invaluable. As a parent, the greatest thing you can do is encourage your kid to pick themselves up after falling. Avoid putting undue pressure on your kid while coaching them in long jump, high jump, or whatever athletic sport they like.

Make it social

Sign your child up for holiday or after school sports sessions, so they can make new friends and try out activities you may not be able to do at home, such as javelin, pole vault and hammer throw. If they enjoy this, look for a local athletics club where they can train more seriously. Alternatively, if they’re really not keen on any of the disciplines involved in athletics, that’s okay - try some other activities until they find what they enjoy.

Photo by Elina Fairytale

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