As I sit here watching my son warm up for his soccer game, I think how far he has come, and I attribute a big portion of that to sports. My husband and I originally decided to enroll him in soccer as a social opportunity and a way to get some exercise. It was that , sure, but it turned into so much more.
Just a few things that sports can do for your child:
Give her a subject to talk about that other kids can relate to
Give Dad something that he can get involved in
A way to get out of the house on a schedule
A way to meet other parents (for you)
A way to meet new friends that aren’t from school
Improve social skills
Because of all these benefits, I always recommend to the families that I work with to enroll their kids in a sport of some kind. Gymnastics, soccer, basketball, swimming, wrestling, running… anything active, really. It doesn’t matter what sport, just something that your child enjoys that isn’t too complicated and too hard to get to. It’s a bonus if you enjoy it or used to play it too. If something that you think would fit just right doesn’t, don’t be afraid to switch. A lot of places will give you an introductory class so you can test it out. Don’t give up on the first try. Sometimes kids have to try a few sports before they find “the one”. (A note for those of you that have boys: Ask anyone who has spent any time at all teaching boys and they will tell you they are inherently different than girls in just about every way. They need to be moving practically all the time and keeping them doing this naturally keeps what we perceive as negative behavior down.)
Find a good coach that will be patient with your child. If there isn’t one, volunteer yourself. My husband had some of the greatest times coaching my son’s team and even waited in line to call from Iraq in the middle of the night to find out how they did in a game because he had to leave before the season was over. Get your kiddo out there and I bet you will see all these benefits and many more I haven’t even named. It’s worth it!