Some teenagers are naturally confident and outgoing, some are more shy and need to be brought out. Others take a bit of a knock - socially, hormonally - and they struggle to get back to themselves. Being a kid can be really tough and riding the highs and lows of life at a young age is more difficult than adults ever remember.
What can help, though, is giving them the opportunity to get off the couch and stuck into a sport that will help to boost their self-confidence. Of course, not all teens are going to be athletically inclined, but with a healthy session of exercise each week, you know that you are giving them the best chance in life. And hopefully they will feel better about their rapidly changing bodies too.
Unlike most sports, wrestling doesn’t require any particular athleticism before you start but it will be completely absorbing while you are working. It really teaches the power of concentration, responsibility for your own safety as well as others and will gradually help your teen build their strength and confidence. Because wrestling is categorized into different age and weight classes, you will always be put in a fair starting position. Plus, as two piece wrestling uniforms can be customized, your teen will instantly look the part.
You would be surprised at how good a workout wrestling can be. Because you have to put your whole body to the task, it is great for general muscle building and is fantastic cardiovascular training. The camaraderie between the competitors is also a good reason to join a friendly local club. If your teen is having trouble with friends, introducing them to another, separate group will help to ease their social worries.
You could choose pretty much any team sport from baseball to football and get similar results. The team is all about building up confidence together and working to the same goal. Training together will make the team stronger but competing together will be a real boost of confidence in their capabilities and give a real sense of belonging.
Winning will always be a cause for celebration but losing together is just as important a skill to learn. Where younger children tend to bounce back fairly quickly, teenagers are more likely to brood over losses and feel responsible for the whole game. A strong team will stick together in the highs and lows and gradually they will learn to deal with their emotional responses. This will shift their fear of failure to a focus on doing their best.
If wrestling and team sports aren’t going to go down well, cheerleading - or even dance or gymnastics - are a great way to get fit and build confidence. This is because you have to build up your skills as a team and then perform your routine in front of a crowd. It might be a tense first go, but lots of cheerleaders learn to love the spotlight when they perform and it is incredibly beneficial for their natural confidence in other areas of life too.