Kids across the country are heading back to school over the coming weeks, which means that many will also be returning to regular organised sport. So, just how can parents help their children prepare themselves for such activity?
It is estimated that around 70% of children drop out of organised sport by the time they reach the age of 13, with enjoyment being the standout contributing factor. So, for parents who wish for their child to have good experiences when it comes to sport, there are a number of methods to best prepare them for what lies ahead. Let’s take a look at the top five tips:
Find the Best Sport for Them
The first port of call is to discover, if you do not know already, exactly what your child is interested in, along with their likes of dislikes when it comes to sport and exercise. While introducing them to the events in which you played as a youngster is tempting, it is important to focus more on their personality, with experimenting potentially being necessary in order to narrow things down. You will know when your child has found the right sport for them, as they will walk off the field or court with a huge smile on their face.
Talk to Coaches
It is important to know and understand who it is that is coaching your child, which may involve meeting them in person and asking any relevant questions. Whether it be what their goals are for the team or their coaching style, this is another way for you to know if your child will be a good fit in such an environment. Those who are overly focused upon results and winning are unlikely to put the enjoyment of youngsters first. So, be sure to find out as much information as possible beforehand.
Plan for the Future
Especially important for those who have more than one child, understanding what your kids are going to be involved in is also key. Both financial and logistical requirements must be taken into consideration, with parents having to decide whether this is something that they can keep up with in the long run. Getting to grips with the return of organised sport and potentially new things is not just difficult for kids, but parents too! So, be sure to consider all aspects and remind your child to keep focused.
Eat & Drink Right
Those who are potentially playing organised sport before, during or after school will need to have the fuel required to keep them going. As a result, parents must ensure that their child is taking on the necessary carbohydrates and protein before and after exercise. As well as this, ensure that your child takes on board plenty of fluids throughout the day, with dehydration occurring easily amongst young athletes.
Allow for Free Time
While organised sports should be fun at all times, it is hugely important that children still have free time during the day to do other activities in which they enjoy. Whether it be riding their bike or interacting with friends, parents should encourage such activity where possible. With a minimum of 60 minutes of exercise suggested each day, the more the better in most cases.
There are regularly theories introduced as to just how people can increase their longevity, whether it be diet, rest or workload. However, recent research has shown the participating in team sports can add years to your life, adding yet another positive to this form of exercise.
While skill, dedication and physical attributes are of key importance when it comes to reaching the top of the sporting ladder, there are certainly other factors that are often not discussed, including when athletes were born.