If you’re having trouble getting your kids active, being a part of a team sport is a good way to encourage them. They can help them make friends, learn teamwork, and have fun. But what age should they start? Which sport should they choose? And what if they lose interest?
Dr. Elizabeth Davis, who specializes in Pediatric Sports Medicine at Orlando Health, said the best way to get your child interested in a sport is to let them choose.
"If a kid sees on TV gymnastics or figure skating or football and they decide they want to try that, let them try that," she said.
If your child doesn't have a preference, Dr. Davis said let your child try a few different sports.
"Sign them up for a few lessons. If they like it, great. They can stick with it. If they don't like it, then it's something you don't have to sign them up for the next season, and they can move onto something else," she said.
If your kids lose interest, Dr. Davis said generally, kids should honor their commitments.
"You really should encourage your child. Unless they're in a dangerous situation, or they're getting hurt or you're really concerned for their safety, then they really do need to finish the season," Dr. Davis said.
She said not everyone does well on a team. If that's your child, have them try a sport that's more individualized, like swimming, golf or tennis.
"You're still going to see the same benefits from a health perspective because they're still having a practice, they're still having to exert themselves and get the physical activity," Dr. Davis said.
As for when to start your child in a sport, she said to sign them up when they can follow directions and their attention span is longer — typically around the age of four.