Being engaged in sports can give children so much. As well as keeping them fit, healthy, competitive and engaged, it also over the years teaches them discipline, motivation and drive - life lessons that are hard to apply as a parent. This article is aimed at dads of both boys and girls who’re looking to get their children into sports, developing a wonderful hobby that they might take through their entire lives. Who knows, with the right encouragement and dedication, it might even turn into a potential career for your child.
Involve Your Children In Games
Whatever sport it is that you’re into, you should encourage your child to enjoy too. Introduce them to your local team in baseball, basketball, football or hockey, and let them see with their own eyes how much fun can be had in both watching and participating in sport. If you’re willing to, take your children to sporting events that even you wouldn’t usually be interested in - like handball, water polo, or soccer. It is, after all, up to your child to decide which sport catches their eye and their heart.
Educate Them On Past Sporting Legends
Every dad who’s got an inkling of sports knowledge will have some wonderful tales of sporting icons, great victories or that ‘nearly’ season where perfection was not quite reached. These stories, told well, will enthrall the imaginations of your children. For instance, give an overview of Tris Speaker baseball career to your child to introduce them to the longevity of baseball as a national sport, and tell them how he fought for 22 years to become a sporting giant. Or, more recently, introduce them to some of the most remarkable US Olympians in recent years - people they can get behind and identify with.
Don’t miss the chance to encourage your little ones to go to tryouts - for whatever sport, whether it be at school or in your locality. Don’t discriminate - if your little girl wants to be a footballer, encourage her to do so. If your boy has got the tricky feet of a soccer player, take him to a pitch for tryouts. At this point, it’s worth distinguishing between a supportive parent and a ‘pushy’ parent. Never push your children into activities that they simply don’t want to do - but it’s fine to encourage them when they’re reluctant - they might not know how much fun it’ll be until they give it a go.
Play as a Family
As with many families in the US, you might not have a huge amount of people to get onto a field to play a sport. That’s why it’s a wonderful idea, when your extended family is over, to head out into the sunshine to kick, throw, hit or bounce a ball around. It’s a form of social bonding, a game, a mental health boost, and it’s something that’ll improve the skills of your children so that when they come into the world of sport, they’ll be more likely to succeed.
If you’re a dad who values sports as a way to bring up healthy and happy kids, then use the tips provided above to get them away from the screens and onto the field of play.