Just because your child doesn’t want to play “normal” sports like baseball, basketball, football, or soccer that doesn’t mean they’re totally out of luck with it comes to youth sports. You might not know it from ESPN, but there are plenty of other sports out there for your child to try and fall in love with! As parents we want to ensure our kids lead a healthy and happy life, and staying active is critical to preventing childhood obesity. Youth sports are a great way to keep kids active but if your child is bored of the “normal” sports options why not give one of these a shot instead?
Does your son or daughter love pretending to be a pirate, a knight or one of the three musketeers? Why not sign them up for a fencing class and let them act out their dreams in real life! Fencing is less about who is the biggest or strongest, and more about being quick, agile, and outthinking your opponent. It’s almost like a chess game, but with swords (which is way cooler) where opponents have to study and anticipate how their opponents will act and react. In fencing children quickly learn that they have to pay attention at all times or they’re bound to let their opponent score a point, so it might be a great way to help teach your child how to focus.
Usually kids don’t start rowing until they are about 12 years old, but if your son or daughter is burnt out on soccer and basketball and looking for something new rowing might be the ticket. Believe it or not rowing is the oldest college sport in America and it’s a great sport for any kid that loves being around water, enjoys being on a team, and has plenty of energy to burn! Individual rowers need a lot of endurance and strength to keep going during a long race, but they’ll also learn how to stay in synch with the rest of their team and row as a single unit.
Aside from pirates, ninjas are probably the coolest thing to be when you’re a kid so maybe your child would be interested in karate, judo, tae kwon do, or aikido. Martial arts instructors stress that studying a martial art is NOT about learning how to hurt another person, but rather about learning self-discipline, concentration, and control. According to Parenting.com, “many parents whose children have attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) report great success with these programs because self-control and concentration are exactly the skills underdeveloped in ADHD kids.”
You may think that pickleball is only for senior centers, but it’s actually a great game for kids as well! Pickleball is a hybrid between tennis, ping pong and badminton and is very fast paced and requires a lot of hitting, but not as much running as tennis. It can be played both indoors and out so it’s even a good off season sport for youth athletes to keep them moving when the weather outside gets nasty. The best way to get kids moving is to turn exercise into a game and with a name like pickleball how can you go wrong?