How to Help Kids Who Hate Sports Keep Fit

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How to Help Kids Who Hate Sports Keep Fit

Even if your child isn't interested in team sports, you can still help him get involved in activities that will improve his self-esteem, strength, coordination and general fitness.


  1. Get his health and vision checked out. Sometimes, reluctance to participate in certain activities can signal a problem.
  2. Offer choices. There are many activities that can keep kids fit, not all of them involving team sports.
  3. Keep an open mind. Some girls want to play ice hockey and basketball, while some boys want to take ballet or figure skating.
  4. Suggest activities that work well for solo types as well as team players, such as dancing, gymnastics, swimming, skating, martial arts and horseback riding.
  5. Encourage other nonsporting activities to build teamwork and sharing skills, such as school clubs, band or orchestra participation, volunteer activities, debating teams, or performance groups.
  6. Be supportive, but don't push. If your child mentions interest in a certain activity, don't immediately assume you're raising the next Olympic champion. Your child might just want to play tennis for fun and fitness.
  7. Set a good example. Take a walk, go for a swim or sign up for a fitness class yourself.
  8. Remember that your child may not care for the sports you excelled in during your youth. Let him go his own way, as long as he's fit and active.

Tips & Warnings

  • If your children are old enough, consider holding a family fitness conference. Discuss various types of activities, list the pros and cons, and help your children decide on a few things that they might like to try, either alone or with the whole family.
  • Equipment is important. Before signing your child up for any fitness activity, find out just how much supplies and equipment will cost and how often they will need to be replaced.
  • Remember that preadolescent children should not get involved in weight training; if your child seems interested, ask your pediatrician for advice.
  • Some kids just aren't cut out for team sports ' that's OK. There are many other physical activities they can do, and their reluctance to join athletic teams shouldn't cause major family friction.

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