Sport with children: advice for parents

Peter Grossmann

Sport is important not only for the well-being of adults, but also for that of children. Sport is one of the most important requirements for healthy physical development. But which sport is the right one for your child? In addition to this question, Peter Großmann’s guide also answers and explains other important points relating to the topic of children’s sports. For example, community sport in leisure clubs or clubs promotes children’s social skills. Cognitive skills are also developed when the child has to deal with defeat, victory or fair play.

Children need exercise

The natural urge to move among children and adolescents today often falls by the wayside in hectic everyday life. The reason for this often lies in a changed living environment in the families. Children are often protected to an above-average degree, are less and less allowed to meet friends in the park or to go for a round with the to go biking.

In 1970, 91 percent of the first graders managed to get to school unaccompanied, compared to only 17 percent in 2000. The car replaces the musculoskeletal system, the accompanying person independent thinking. It is so important for children to exercise regularly. And adults don’t have to do anything other than give them the opportunity!

Why exercise is so important for children

What teachers often don’t notice is noticed by sports teachers and coaches: children are no longer as skillful as they used to be in activities such as swimming or cycling. Dealing with minor accidents has also changed. While an open knee was treated with a plaster and a few comforting words twenty years ago, today the car will be taken for safety’s sake in the future.

Sport for children promotes cognitive and social skills

Children’s sports also have a positive impact on cognitive and social development. The ability to concentrate increases while the stress level decreases. The competitive concept is not neglected either. Sports games offer children the opportunity to measure themselves against others. At the same time, self-esteem increases when the child performs well. Team spirit, fair play and the Dealing with defeats contribute to character formation.

Parents should always keep in mind when playing sports with children that children are not small adults, but adolescents in a physical and mental maturation process. While two to three sports units per week are enough for adults to remain physically efficient, need Children’s daily stress.

How can parents support their children in sports?

The most important factor is the role model function of the parents. Show your child that you enjoy sports yourself. The likelihood that the child will do the same to you increases enormously. But don’t become perfectionistic! If you master every sport flawlessly, it quickly becomes demotivating. The child should recognize that failures are part of it and learn how to deal with them correctly.

Projecting your own wishes and dreams onto the child is often an unconscious mistake on the part of the parents, which imposes unnecessary constraints on the child. Many adults wanted to be tennis stars, professional footballers or even ski world champions in the past and often try to push their children in this direction in the hope that their dreams will come true. The shot usually only starts in one direction: backwards.

But even in the more moderate competition, it is important not to put too much pressure on your child. Do not take on the coach’s job on the soccer field by calling out suggestions for improvement and instructions to the child. Do not lose patience if your child does not progress quickly enough. Aggression and coercion have lost nothing in sports. It is important that the fun of movement comes first.

Parents are happy to give sports exercises for children to the school and the training center. It would be important to continue the activities with the children in everyday life. It only takes a few creative ideas to enable exercise at home. Also contact family friends so that your children can play with others.

This is exactly the wrong approach! Children who are active in sport can prevent falls more easily and are thus better protected against injuries. Children’s sport not only strengthens bones and muscles and trains the cardiovascular system. The sense of balance can also be strengthened by balance exercises, which in turn prevents falls. In addition, children learn independence when they go out alone and are allowed to make their own decisions in playful situations.


E-book: SportScheck GmbH
Image: Peter Großmann, Copyright Monika Sandel


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