Sports are good for children, not just because they are healthy. They also offer opportunities to make new friends, learn responsibility and teamwork, and give confidence, among other benefits. If your kids do not like to play sports, the problem may be in the sport itself. Maybe they tried the more popular options, like baseball or football, and did not like them.
But it is not the end of the world: you can try to introduce them to the universe of unique sports. These activities offer some of the same benefits for health and socializing while standing out from the crowd by being different – sometimes even more challenging. As children love challenges and new, exclusive things, they may be delighted with one of these five unique sports:
1. Rock Climbing
This is not exactly the first option that comes to parents’ minds when trying to motivate their kids to play sports. But you should consider it, as it’s an exciting sport that demands a lot from children physically and psychologically, and it can prepare them to push their limits.
Unlike traditional sports, there are several disciplines of rock climbing (bouldering, speed climbing, sport climbing) that can be practiced outdoors, with the real deal, or indoors, using climbing walls with different heights and obstacles. Among the benefits of this sport, it provides a great opportunity to train muscles and increase kids’ flexibility.
Hollywood movies have always romanticized sword fights, which can attract children’s attention to fencing.
Historically, this sport was born around the 15th century as a way for aristocrats to settle matters of honor: if someone felt offended, that person could challenge their rival to combat with rapiers (an attacking sword without a blade).
While it may sound too violent, fencing prepares children to have more discipline, quicker reflexes, and learn to defend themselves rather than attack. The sport also stopped being aristocratic a long time ago: today, fencing lessons and equipment are more accessible.
If your family lives by the ocean, it might be a good idea to encourage your kids to learn how to surf. The origins of this sport are lost in the dust of time, but there are reports that Polynesian tribes were already using pieces of wood to catch waves in the 12th century!
It’s also one of the sports with the fewest rules out there. You simply use a surfboard (of various sizes and materials) to catch a wave and ride toward the shore.
For kids, surfing is a great way to overcome fears, gain confidence, learn discipline, and make friends. After all, it has a large and passionate community that makes surfing a way of life.
4. Mountain Biking
If the mountains are accessible, show your kids how to mountain bike! Every child wants to ride a bike at a certain age. From there to practice mountain biking, it’s a short hop.
One of the biggest benefits of this sport is putting kids in direct contact with nature, as the bike trails are made in the middle of woods and mountains.
The practice requires following several safety rules, and it might be a good idea for parents to accompany their children on their first adventures. Don’t forget to invest in an appropriate bike and gear: helmet, clothing, suitable shoes, etc.
Even if your kids don’t have visual aids, protecting their eyes from dust and debris is extremely important. You can take a look at kids prescription sunglasses online and choose a model that matches their style.
The popularity among kids of pop culture icons like Green Arrow and Hawkeye, or Katniss from “The Hunger Games,” can make them interested in archery. It’s another ancient and aristocratic sport well respected because of the Olympics.
Although at first glance, it requires less physical preparation than other sports (it’s not a game of impact or speed), archery encourages children to work on their concentration, patience, persistence, and focus.
The traditional form involves hitting stationary targets, but the sport’s variations with moving targets. It’s another outdoor or indoor activity that can help kids make new friends with similar interests.
If Your Kids Don’t Like Sports, Change the Sport
Encouraging your son or daughter to play sports has many benefits. It promotes a more active lifestyle when children spend a lot of time playing video games or looking at their cell phones.
In addition, playing sports promotes teamwork and helps make new friends when households finally leave a long, traumatic lockdown and children want to socialize again.
So if your kids don’t want to play sports, maybe the problem is not with them but with the sport. Not everyone falls in love at first sight with the most popular options. Maybe they need a unique activity to develop their skills and explore their limits.