Some children don’t have the basic physical skills for some sports. Being unable to master a particular skill or activity can make a child feel like a failure. If this is the case with your child, you can help your child practice and perfect new skills at home where others can’t see or judge. Your child can also practice with siblings if he is more comfortable.
The coach, teacher or other players might be too competitive for some children. An aggressive environment or pressure to perform could put your child off. Speak to your child’s teacher or coach about the approach that is being used. If all else fails, look for less competitive clubs or activities.
Kids deal better with competition as they get older. It may be best to wait until your child shows an interest in playing a competitive sport before they start competing.
Fear of failure
Some children can feel afraid that they might fail. You can help your child by reassuring that sport is about fun and being active. Focus on how hard your child is trying and teach your child to identify strengths. Practising undeveloped skills can also help, because it will boost your child’s confidence.
Some sports just won’t suit your child. Not all children have the hand-eye coordination necessary for tennis. Some like organised sports while others prefer a sport that they can play alone. Think about your child and what they would like to do.
Your child’s body type of ability to cope with the demands of physical activity can sometimes have an effect on your child. If he is bigger or smaller than other kids, or not as muscular, or less energetic than other kids, he can feel out of place.
If your child has a health problem such as asthma, or is overweight, your child may even feel frightened of participating.
If your child does have a health problem
Find out how much activity children with the condition can manage-in many cases avoiding activity is unnecessary.
Think about your child’s abilities and help find an activity that suits better. For instance, if asthma is the problem, your child might be more comfortable playing a sport that has short bursts of activity like bowling.
Other options for exercise and physical activity
If your child really is reluctant to take part in organised sporting activities, it might just be that free play-like shooting goals, bike-riding or dancing- is a better fit.
You should also look for other activities that require additional involvement beyond simply being just a form of exercise:
Horse riding is about more than just physical activity; there are horses to look after and the country-side to explore.
Dancing, hiking and martial arts also have lots to offer beyond simply the activity itself.
Many interests and hobbies lead to new friends being made and give lots of wonderful opportunities for social encounters.