Our children spend most of the day sitting. That’s why sport is not only incredibly important for children, so that they can keep moving and really work out. The social aspect also plays an important role.
The consequences of too little exercise in children
Because people drive more cars than walk from A to B, watch more television, computers and smartphones, children are now sitting more and moving less . This leads to obesity and poor posture. Accidents also happen more frequently due to poor movement coordination, incorrect self-assessment and a lack of experience.
Of course, accidents also happen during sport itself, but these are more likely to be attributed to excessive demands, being distracted and overconfidence.
In general, the more rescue-experienced and fitter your child is, the less prone it is to accidents. For this reason, as a parent, you should motivate your child to be active and play sports. It is also the task of the parents to help the child to find the favorite sport. You can find out below which type of sport is right for your child.
Sport promotes healthy development and other skills
Be it in parent-child gymnastics or in a sports club – in addition to physical performance , your child’s social skills are also promoted. It learns how to behave in a group and also learns to make social contacts and to stick to rules.
In addition, there is a “loser” in every sport, so it also learns to deal with it. In team sports, it also learns skills such as fairness and team spirit.
Sport for children – the proof of the pudding is in the eating
Many parents already have precise ideas about which sport their child should excel in later. A study by the University of Indianapolis (USA) unexpectedly showed that early specialization in a certain sport does more harm than contributes to subsequent success. In addition, there is a risk that early specialization will lead to more injuries and mental burnout.
How do you find the right sport? It’s the variety that counts
It is better if the child tries different sports. It generally takes 10 years for children to master a sport perfectly. However, if children between the ages of six and 13 play several sports at the same time, they later achieve better results in the sports than children who only played one sport at a young age.
This is because children are able to develop different athletic abilities when they play multiple sports. It is therefore important that you encourage your child to try different sports.
This gives them the opportunity to find out which sport suits them best and gives them pleasure. In addition, the joints and muscles are stressed to different degrees by different types of sport. From the age of about 12-13 years, it makes sense for the child to specialize in a certain sport.
Sports for children – These are the most popular sports for children between the ages of 7 and 14
Now I have put together the most popular sports for children with an age recommendation for you. In addition, the skills that are trained by the respective sport are listed.
Football (from 5-6 years)
In football, endurance is trained, as well as balance, body coordination, speed and strength and muscle building. Social skills such as tolerance, fairness, the ability to cooperate and a sense of responsibility are also strengthened in football.
Gymnastics (from 2-3 years children’s gymnastics or from 4-5 years real gymnastics)
Gymnastics is often taken as an introduction. Not without reason – flexibility, balance, body coordination and endurance are trained here. From the age of one, many clubs offer parent-child gymnastics, while children from the age of 6 can stand alone on parallel bars or balance beam.
Swimming (from 4-5 years)
Swimming is particularly easy on the joints and is one of the healthiest sports for children. In addition, most children love the element of water. Endurance, body coordination, strength and muscle building are trained.
Tennis (from 3-4 years)
Tennis is probably the most popular lone fighter sport. Tennis primarily improves endurance, coordination, feeling for the ball, speed, concentration, strength and muscle building.
Athletics (from 5 years)
The beauty of athletics is the diversity within the sport. Whether shot put, 400 meter run or sprint – track and field simply offers children a lot of variety. Above all, skills such as speed, strength and muscle building, coordination and endurance are trained.
Martial arts – karate and judo (from 5-6 years)
The two Japanese martial arts not only train skills such as endurance, strength, dexterity and mobility. The feeling for spatial perception, coordination and concentration is also strengthened. Apart from that, children get more self-confidence and self-assurance and respect and tolerance are very important.
Handball (from 5-6 years)
This popular ball sport strengthens team spirit, coordination, feeling for the ball and speed.
Riding (from 8 years) or vaulting (from 5 years)
The greatest happiness on earth…is unfortunately a somewhat more expensive affair. Group riding lessons cost between 12 and 25 Dollar, while individual lessons start at around 25 Dollar. However, there is a good alternative where you are still in contact with the beautiful four-legged friends: vaulting.
Your baby spits up a lot? This could be behind it
When vaulting, the children practice gymnastic exercises while the horse runs on the lunge. It is not only a useful introduction to contact with horses, but balance, flexibility and body coordination are trained here.
Table tennis (from 7 years)
As with normal tennis, speed, concentration and coordination are of great importance in table tennis.
Basketball and volleyball (from 6-7 years)
As with all ball sports, social skills are also encouraged in basketball and volleyball, because the children have their role in the team and have to consciously communicate with each other. Furthermore, speed, coordination, feeling for the ball and endurance are trained.
Dancing and ballet (from 2-3 years)
…is only for girls. Not correct! In the meantime, the enthusiasm for music is not only reserved for girls. Boys also liked children’s dance courses, in which the little dancers practice short choreographies and learn dances. In addition to motor skills and body awareness, concentration, flexibility, endurance and coordination are strengthened.
Cycling (from 5 years)
We’re not talking about the Tour de France, but a few laps in the park or a little trip by bike instead of the car will do. The focus here is on endurance, balance, strength and muscle building.
No false ambition on the part of the parents
Perhaps you would like your child to be the next Boris Becker who is Steffi Graf. Or your disappointment about the lack of enthusiasm for football is great. Nevertheless, it is of no use to you or your child if you urge them to do a certain sport. Don’t make decisions over your child’s head, but let them have a say in the decision-making process.
Don’t set the bar too high
It is also not advisable that you compare your child’s athletic performance with that of other children. If parents want to push their child to perform at their best, the joy of sport is gone faster than you can say “beep” and that’s it with the balanced movement. It is much better to measure progress by your child’s own performance.
Sport for children – this is how your child stays “on the ball”
- Attend a taster session with your child.
- Pay attention to the child’s wishes and do not force them to do anything.
- Integrate the sports lessons into everyday life.
- The training may only be canceled in exceptional cases (e.g. children’s birthday parties) – “I don’t feel like it today” does not apply.
- If you are listless, you should talk to your child about the cause.
- A friend accompanies your child or they do sports together.
- If it has a slack, your increased attention often helps. Find out what it has learned. Your presence at competitions or performances also increases your child’s motivation.
- If the listlessness persists, you should consider changing your sport and trying out alternatives.
Finding the right sports club – important criteria
- How many children are there in the sports club?
- How big are the groups and how are they divided (age specific)?
- What is the tone like among each other and also on the part of the trainer?
- How are the trainers trained and do they have a valid trainer license?
- Does the trainer demonstrate the exercises and provide understandable instructions and clear rules?
- Does the trainer also consider weaker children?
- Is the training varied, playful and designed appropriately for the altar?
Sports for children – final tip
If your child is trying out different sports, it is highly recommended to wait a few months before purchasing expensive equipment. For starters, there is usually the option of renting the equipment.