Kids fitness has been a popular topic in the news lately, as our youngest generation seems to have a growing trend of unhealthy habits and obesity.
Youth sports are a wonderful way to have your child get involved with other children in the community, and to gain healthy long-term habits for life.
With such a wide variety of sports and activities, you should be able to find something that meets your child’s interest.
As a little league coach, I’ve seen first-hand the challenges of motivating children of various skill-levels and interest-levels.
As a parent, volunteer, and coach you’ll need to be sensitive to these differences and make sure your generous with recognition.
Saying, “Good catch, Tommy” may not seem like a lot…but it’ll probably make “Tommy’s” day!
With any kid’s sport, remember not to forget the O-A-F:
- Organization: This can vary in formality, but some structure is necessary. If the children see organization and leadership, they will eventually fall in line and ultimately get more out of it. Know what your objective is for the practice – it could be throwing to first base (baseball); running hills (cross-country); or taking shots on goal (soccer). Be sure to close out practices and games with a quick summary and pep talk…don’t let anyone leave with their head hung low.
- Activity: All sports and activities involve a mixture of rules and movement…the kids like the 'movement' part. More than 10 minutes of ‘pep-talk-time’ in the dugout will probably result in daydreams and dirt-pile art. You may want to try the learn-by-doing approach and coach them as they make mistakes and get better.
- Fun!: It’s said all too often, but quickly clouded by competition…HAVE FUN. If activities are fun, these fitness habits may turn into healthy habits for life. Winning and losing, while important life-lessons, should not over-shadow the sheer fun of the activity. Keep them smiling and promote positive attitudes. The tone will be set by the grown-ups and followed by the kids. Always try to find the positive points of the game, even if you’re on the losing end. There’s no harm bringing up points to work on, just try not to single out an individual’s poor performance in front of their peers. And be sure to recognize those that have made improvements and spread the wealth. For the kids on your team…these are the “glory days”!
No matter what sport or activity you're involved in, thanks for promoting kids fitness in your community. They will remember you and how that sport or activity made them feel.
Find creative ways to peak their interest and they won't even notice the beads of sweat.
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