It is not unusual to see a child who is fearful of participating in sports. Your child may have the same reaction to sports as to vegetables; hesitancy around trying something new. Sport hesitancy is a problem that many parents have with their children. According to Susan Scandiffio, the first step in addressing hesitancy is determining why and what is holding your child back. These reasons may include: fear of being injured, not enough knowledge about the sport, fear of failing at the sport and much more. Susan describes 13 tips that you as a parent can try to encourage your child to try a new sport. These 13 tips include:
- Play the sport with your child in the backyard or park.
- Be positive and encouraging
- Take your child to watch other people play sports.
- Invite friends and family to play the sport together for fun.
- Remind your child of all the challenges they’ve confronted.
- Volunteer to be a team coach for your child.
- Focus and comment on the things your child did well during the game.
- Let your child know the many options for sports.
- Tell them that everyone starts with no knowledge about the sport.
- Inform them that everyone makes mistakes and that mistakes are ok.
- Point out and praise improvements.
- Reassure your child that you are proud of them, regardless of the outcome.
- Mention repeatedly that every person on a team has a role to play.
Once the source of hesitancy has been identified, your child will be more likely to feel comfortable, confident, and competent to participate in the sport. Click on the link to learn more about the 13 tips to help your child overcome sport hesitancy!