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CHOOSING THE RIGHT SPORT FOR YOUR CHILD
Dr. Carliss R. McGhee
Choosing the right sport for your child can be a challenge. But, involving your child in the sport that suits his or her needs can bring a lifetime of rewards. Sports can do more for your child than just increase their physical fitness. Ideally, children should participate in some form of a team sport at some stage of their childhood. Playing a sport is also great for promoting teamwork, building confidence and improving body image. Finding the right sport for your child teaches resilience and many other skills that will prove to be invaluable throughout life. Parents , don’t be afraid to think outside the box when considering a sport for your child. There are many team sports that don’t necessarily mean playing football or basketball. Investigate other options such as, gymnastics, rowing, dance, swimming, golf, tennis, fencing and volleyball to name some. Engage your child during the Winter and Summer Olympics by watching television with him or her to see the sport he or she gravitates too. They just may find the sport that suits them.
All sports are not played as a team. Individual sports can teach persistence, dedication and build your child’s self- confidence. Even though your child might participate in an individual sport, there are many opportunities for socializing and competing with others.
Look to your children’s interest, are they extremely active and enjoy running around? Does your child enjoy watching their other siblings play a particular sport. Has your child expressed an interest in a certain sport? Often what we love doing for fun will translate into something we might enjoy participating in as a sport.
Regardless of what sport your child plays, remember, you are the best role model. Be there to cheer your child on and encourage their efforts. Teach your child the benefits of good sportsmanship. Playing a sport is a wonderful opportunity for children to grow and mature into healthy, successful adults, and we can serve as the perfect example to guide them.
•Allow your child to choose his or her sport
•Find a non-traditional sport in which the less athletic child can participate
•Always be encouraging, praise your child for his or her efforts
Dr. Carliss R. McGhee, is a trained children’s behaviorist, a published children’s author, renowned storyteller, educator and co-founder of Khocolate Keepsakes Children’s Literacy Museum, for more information call 310 364-2460 or visit her website www.khocolatekeepsakes.org