Physical activity should be a major part of any child’s life and being sedentary can affect them in so many ways. However, getting a child to play sports can sometimes be a challenge. Some kids might be reluctant because they’ve been accustomed to screens, while others might be scared because they’re shy.
But that doesn’t mean there’s no hope. Lots of shy children end up embracing sports as they grow up and it can be done if you take the right approach. Let’s take a look at a few ways parents can encourage their shy children to pursue sports.
Don’t Push It On Them
The first thing is to make sure that you don’t push sports too hard on them. You want it to be their choice, and you don’t necessarily need to start with average team sports. There are tons of low impact and easy to pick up one on one or two on two sports you could play as a family to ease them in. A sport like badminton, for instance, would be a great option. This will help them start enjoying team sports, and you could then introduce them to other sports they might like.
Choose the Right Sport for them
Sports like football or soccer might not be the best suited for someone who’s introverted. These involve lots of interaction, and there’s not too much space for individuality. Ideally, you want a sport with an emphasis on individual positions, such as baseball, for instance.
In baseball, a lot of practice will be done one on one with a batting or pitching coach. They also won’t have to interact as much, though it’s still a part of the game. They’ll be able to slowly start socializing at their own pace and won’t have to deal with constant contact and confrontation.
You have to make sure that they’re well equipped, however, or their performance and enjoyment of the game will suffer. This is especially true if you get them into little league baseball. It all starts with the right bat. Thankfully, you can easily find some that will be perfect for little league online. Make sure that you learn about them in detail and check a few reviews so that your child will be able to perform to the best of their abilities.
Don’t Underestimate Them
In some cases, parents themselves might think that their child’s shyness is uncharacteristic, but shyness is a very common trait, especially for children that have not been socialized. However, they might become a whole different person once they start building bonds and are accepted by their team. So, don’t underestimate your child and think that a certain sport is too tough for them. Let them try if they show interest, and you might be surprised at the result.
Focus on their Strengths
It’s also very important to give you children some positive reinforcement, especially for shy ones. Try to focus on what they’re doing well on the field. There is always something you can find, even if your child is not a superstar.
For instance, you could point out their effort or concentration. Or you could praise them for their sportsmanship. You also don’t want to focus too much on them when they’re on the field. Shy children don’t want to be the center of attention, and while you might think you’re helping them by cheering for them, you might want to hang back and wait for after the game.