There are so many benefits associated with taking part in sports, particularly for children and teens.
For starters, it promises regular exercise, which can aid in boosting general wellbeing and reducing the risk of obesity.
Secondly, it usually allows teens to connect with like-minded individuals and improve their social development.
Thirdly, it teaches valuable life skills, such as conducting yourself in a team setting and putting the hard work into achieving something that you want.
Unfortunately, not all teenagers are interested in getting involved in sports and, often, this is simply because they are worried about embarrassing themselves or not being good enough – not necessarily because they just aren’t the sporty type. Here are some tips for successfully encouraging your teen to give it a try.
Let them choose their sport:
You might think that you know which sport would be a great fit for your teen, or maybe you are hoping to live vicariously through them by encouraging them to play the same sport that you did as a kid or that you wished you had explored.
However, the only way they will form a genuine interest in sport is to choose it themselves. It is still a good idea to provide them with helpful information on all of the available options and let them make an informed decision from there.
Set a good example:
Showing your own love and appreciation for sports of all sorts is a wonderful way to get your teen’s attention. Most of the time, kids watch what we do rather than listen to what we say.
So, if you’re heading off to play a game of golf with your friends at every opportunity that you get or sitting down to enjoy a football game on the regular, there’s a good chance that your teen might eventually ask to join you.
Talk to them about scholarships:
Along with the many benefits highlighted above, taking part in sports while still at school could also open up the opportunity to score sports scholarships as your teen edges ever-closer to college-going age.
Colleges and universities all over the country are always on the look-out for athletic talent and are thrilled to welcome athletic students into their programs at a significantly discounted cost.
Plus, if academics aren’t necessarily your teen’s strong suit, sports scholarships are a fantastic way in which to get into an esteemed tertiary institution and secure a brighter future for themselves.
Keep it fun:
While the idea of a sports scholarship is enticing, it’s important not to put any pressure on your teen to achieve on the sports field. Make it known that you are happy for them to play sport for the fun and the love of it. If something bigger comes out of it, then great – but, if not, that’s totally fine, too.
In short, take a gentle approach, offer up as much information as possible, and lead by example. Do all this, and your teen is likely to welcome sport into their life with open arms soon enough.