Guest Post: Things to consider when choosing the best sport for your child

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My name is Zara Lewis and besides being a mom of three: two kids and a puppy, I'm also a designer and freelance writer. I'm passionate about traveling, hiking, cycling and yoga and I love to write about things that are part of my life and inspire me, mostly parenting, beauty and healthy lifestyle topics. I am a regular author on , but from time to time I also contribute to some other blogs I like working with. Make sure to follow her on twitter.

Regular physical activity in childhood is essential for proper development and growth. Therefore, it’s very important that parents sign up their kids for some kind of sport. Still, if the kids themselves never express their own preference when it comes to sports, it’s up to parents to find a good match for their children’s personality. If you need some help deciding what physical activity your child should take up, consider the following tips that can help you find a perfect one.

Shy or open kid?

Kids that don’t have trouble communicating with others and can get along with their peers just fine can really benefit from any type of sport. In this case it’s important to find something that will simply be fun for them. On the other hand, if your child is really shy, you might want to keep them away from team sports for a while. This is especially true for younger children. It would be best to pick an individual sport where shy kids can concentrate on their own skills without too much social pressure. As they get used to training sessions, team sports might become more appealing later on.

Do you want your child to open up?

At a very young age, shy children shouldn’t be pressured into team sports simply because the trouble of social contact might be overbearing. Still, if your child is preschool age or older and still has social problems, team sports can really help them to break out of their shells. Team sports such as volleyball, soccer, basketball, baseball, etc. can really help the child open up, become friendlier and work well with teammates. Also, there are many health and mental benefits when team sports are concerned.

How does your child react to pressure?

Some kids manage their stress levels perfectly and enjoy themselves the most when they have to challenge their own skills against other opponents. In that respect, team sports as well as individual sports such as tennis and martial arts might be a great choice. On the other hand, if your kids can’t really deal with this particular type of pressure, it would be best to avoid opponent-oriented and very competitive sports. That being said, gymnastics, dancing, running and swimming could turn out to be their perfect kind of physical activity.

What about the training centre?

A big part of decision is definitely the vicinity and age-appropriate atmosphere of the training centre. If it’s too far, you might want to ask yourself whether you’ll actually be able to take your child there on regular basis. Even if your kid is older, it might not be safe to let them commute on their own. Also, if you set your mind on several different sports, make sure to check the centre’s conditions, level of professionalism as well as availability of proper equipment. If you want your child to take up soccer for example, what you need to get is some basic soccer gear, while for the rest of the equipment (soccer goals and balls) you can rely on the training centre to provide it.

Is it fun?
Even if your child wasn’t interested in sports before, they will form their own opinion on the activity that they take up. In that respect you should always listen to them and ask whether they find the particular sport fun or not. There’s nothing wrong in trying out different sports if your child simply doesn’t enjoy the first or even the second one that they give a try. If it’s not fun for them, the main benefits will fail to show and kids will only feel stressed out or even traumatized.

Make sure to do the proper research when choosing the best sport for your child. Remember that it’s necessary to include kids in the search for the perfect physical activity. Even if they don’t seem eager to take up a sport, it’s highly unlikely that they will bluntly refuse to engage in any. But, kids do need to find the particular recreation fun and motivational.

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