All responsible parents should choose a sport for their children to instill a love of active leisure and healthy habits from an early age. Kateryna Biloruska Foundation strives to engage as many children as possible in physical activity to allow them to develop their potential. Also, to provide them with the opportunity to play sports to maintain their physical and mental health.
Physical education and sports can be a tool to overcome social conflicts, support socialization and protect children. However, not all children have equal access to sports activities. Therefore, in our programs and projects, we strive to create conditions for equal access to sports and education for all children, regardless of their social status, place of residence, or external obstacles.
If you need help figuring out where to start and how to choose a sport for children, read the article by Kateryna Biloruska Foundation.
Professional or amateur?
In a time when technology and smartphones have become a part of our lives, the younger generation can become passive and apathetic. They need a spark to push them to achieve more than mindlessly wasting time in virtual space.
Sport provides just such a spark. It teaches you to strive for excellence and never give up in the face of difficulties. And most importantly, it supports children’s health.
So what kind of sport to choose for children: professional or amateur? This decision will affect the child’s physical, mental, and emotional well-being. Therefore, you need to consider and take into account the following points carefully:
- Age. If the child is young, choosing an amateur sport that will allow them to develop skills at a comfortable pace may be more appropriate. However, over time, the child can move to a professional level if they want to.
- Medical condition. This is a matter of risks, medical conditions, physical parameters, and body constitution, which we will analyze separately.
- Aptitude. Choosing a sport according to the child’s interests and temperament is essential. If they are passionate about a particular discipline, it is worth considering pursuing it professionally.
- Resources. Professional sports require dedication, investment of time, and effort. It would help if you were sure not only of the child’s readiness to take on such a burden but also of the parent’s ability to cope with new obligations financially and morally.
These are the primary factors to consider when choosing a sport for children.
The right age
You must analyze which sport to choose for your child based on age. The good news is that doctors and psychologists unanimously recommend starting physical activity as early as possible. However, some sports may be more suitable for children depending on their age, physical development, and general health.
Until age 6, unorganized games and sports activities such as running, jumping, and climbing are recommended. At this age, organized sports activities may need to be more structured and provide opportunities for creativity and exploration.
Between the ages of 6 and 9, children may begin to engage in more disciplined sports, such as:
- team games – soccer, hockey, volleyball, basketball, etc.;
- cyclic disciplines – swimming, rowing, skating, cycling;
- speed and power sports – throwing, sprinting
- complex coordination sports – gymnastics, acrobatics, trampoline;
- martial arts – boxing, kickboxing, judo, samba, etc.
Choosing sections that allow you to develop valuable skills and emphasize fun and participation over the competition is important. It’s a good idea to consult with your coach about preparing your child for the training.
Between the ages of 10 and 12, children can move on to specialize in a particular sport if they show aptitude or interest in it. However, it makes sense to continue focusing on general physical development and various activities to prevent overuse and burnout injuries.
Choosing a coach
Having figured out how to choose the right sport for your child, it’s time to select the right coach. Such a person should be friendly and responsive but at the same time firm, radiating calmness and confidence in every action. The coach is responsible for preparing the child for training and imparting knowledge and character education. A professional sports mentor can motivate, discipline, and be a role model, inspiring a child to strive for improvement and pushing them to reach their full potential.
As part of the Kateryna Biloruska Foundation programs, we introduce children to various sports so children can choose what they like. Sports Mentor program for children from different life circumstances supports their passion for sports and involves them in contests in football and other sports (gymnastics, kickboxing, archery, and volleyball). We also want to give a positive example and motivation through the image of a sports mentor and, even more – a friend who will always support, help and be there for them.
The Sports Mentor program aims to make sports accessible to every child. Together with qualified coaches, we can implement important projects within the program that help children live happily and develop confidence and physical and social skills through sports, despite their circumstances.
Support and motivation
After choosing a sport and a coach, parents may wonder how to prepare their child for training. Children need a lot of motivation to engage in any activity that requires effort. As parents, you are responsible for ensuring that the younger generation leads a healthy lifestyle, socializes, and becomes independent. But how do you inspire young minds to enjoy exercise, especially if they tend to indulge in the pleasures of idleness?
The answer lies in the art of persuasion. You must explain its importance and benefits. You have to clarify that sports are not a chore but rather a means of unlocking personal potential, a fun and worthwhile activity. Only then will a child be prepared for training without difficulties for guardians or parents
It is wise to consult a doctor before deciding which sport to choose for your child. The human body is a complex and delicate machine capable of incredible feats of strength and endurance but simultaneously vulnerable to injury and stress.
When choosing a sport, it is necessary to consider the individual characteristics of each child, their physical abilities and limitations, and the potential risks associated with this type of activity.
Attention: The Kateryna Biloruska Foundation is not a medical institution. The material is based on scientific data from various open sources and cannot be used as a basis for diagnosis or medical opinion. Only a pediatrician or family doctor has sufficient competence to allow or prohibit a particular sport based on assessing the child’s health and age.