Wed. Jan 27th, 2021

How children choose their sports?

3 min read

The best sport for a child is the one that finds fun and interesting. The factors that are connected with the choice of a sport are several and they are related either to the kid either to their parents as well as the availiability/accessibility to each sport.

Perhaps it is not easy to define exactly the “rules” to be considered when choosing a sport, or maybe there is no “right” or “wrong” choice in the end. Before choosing a sport, it is necessary to define what we are looking for: something the kid would enjoy, something to “fulfill” the desire of the parents or something to be more “convenient” concerning the distance and the duration of training?

If the pleasure of the child is set as first priority then the researches show that when the kids choose “by their own” the sport they will attend, they stand more possibilities to keep it up for a longer period of time: “I remain more in something I have chosen”. To make that choice, the best-indicated way is to expose the kid to a variety of sport activities where the wills and the abilities of the child will lead to a further commitment.

In this case the kid has the opportunity to test different sports and choose the one more interesting to them and mainly, fun. They will choose a sport because their friends attend to it, because they are fond of the instructor or because training was fun. The kids do sports with enjoyment being the main cause. In anything they will choose, the parents should be encouraging. 

In parallel with the kids choices, the researchers propose the child to attend a second sport at the same time, if they ask to. This will happen until the age of twelve, when they will be asked to choose the one that satisfies them most as a future athlete. If the kid has the potentials to test in different sports at the age of 4 or 5, they will “discover” by their own the benefit of difficulties of the sport, the special facts they are called to manage with in each environment, their aptitude to a sport. If they find the sport easy and pleasant and the instructor friendly and motivational at the same time, they will have already formed a good first opinion in the sports environment, which will be the one to “allow” them to remain at the area for a long period of time.

In each case  it is also important to note that the division in “better” and “worse” sports may be invalid. “The best sport” is the one that promotes as basic goal the joy of the kid, the one that covers their needs for socialisation, joy, fun. And the word “better” of “worse” are not conclusively referred to the sport itself but to the circumstances of the training, to the environment of the sport, to the instructor and his attitude.

If the child is indirectly “headed” for a sport, it will make no surprise to us their future low commitment and their dissatisfaction they show while leaving for training: They are called to go and have fun in an environment that somebody “else” has chosen for their fun!

Source: (Edited by Zarotis Giannis MSc-PhD
Psychologist- Psychotherapist, Sports Psychologist)