There are innumerable reasons why children should play sports.
On top of improving a child’s physical health, sports can help to develop social skills, build esteem and even impart valuable life lessons. A child could even find his/her calling in their journey of trying out new sports!
If you are a parent who’s running out of ideas to shake up your child’s active routine, here are 15 sports you could urge your child to dive into.
A modern form of Japanese martial arts, Aikido teaches a person how to defend one’s self while causing minimal injury to the attacker. The techniques related to timing and execution are intended to finish a fight rather than to win it by force. The spirit of Aikido encompasses positive principles like courage, clarity of mind and compassion.
Archery is a sport that improves hand-eye coordination while demanding control and focus. It also teaches the child to stay calm while under pressure. While the basics of archery are simple, mastering the sport is a challenging task that requires plenty of determination.
Badminton offers a great workout while building flexibility, motor skills and muscle strength. It’s a popular sport among Singaporeans because it requires little investment and can be practised in many locations. While indulging in an amateur game is certainly fun, you could also hone your child’s talent through badminton lessons with an academy or a private coach.
Another well-loved sport, basketball requires a child to be a good team player. There’s so much to learn, be it dribbling, passing, shooting or rebounding. It also involves plenty of running and jumping, which would burn calories and build endurance. Your child could get started by shooting hoops in the basketball court but to be truly immersed in the game, it’s best to gather a team or sign up for basketball lessons.
Biking or cycling is best picked up at a young age. As simple as cycling may look, adults learners tend to find it harder than children to get the two wheels rolling. A child can begin to cycle as early as the age of three, though most will feel confident enough to go without the training wheels only at the age of five.
6. Rock climbing
If you notice that your child loves clambering to higher grounds, why not take him/her rock climbing? Rock climbing offers an adrenaline-charged challenge. Apart from the health benefits of climbing, many children simply find the activity fun and addictive.
No, golf is certainly not just for rich old men. Contrary to that common idea, people from diverse demographics are fans of golf – kids included. Golf is an avenue for children to spend time outdoors. A safe sport with minimal risk, golf teaches a child to handle competition and focus on their self-improvement.
An Olympic sport, judo evolved from another Japanese martial art known as jiu-jitsu. Practitioners of judo learn how to use quick movements and gain leverage over an opponent. While learning the techniques of judo on how to throw and pin an opponent, a child will improve their balance, flexibility and coordination.
Yet another martial art developed in Japan, karate propelled into popularity through movies like The Karate Kid. A sport that has gained momentum worldwide, karate teaches self-defence and striking moves beyond the basic punching and kicking. Karate is easy to learn and surprisingly safe too when conducted in the right environment.
A merger of karate and boxing, kickboxing is a stand-up combat sport featuring powerful movements. Accordingly, the training tends to be intense but do afford plenty of benefits like improving fitness, agility, balance and coordination.
A sport that requires little introduction, soccer has a history dating back to 2,000 years ago. It is England that is often credited for giving the sport the uniform rules that we are familiar with today. A team game, soccer requires a child to work together with other players towards a common goal. Apart from its health benefits, soccer also opens a child’s eyes to other countries around the world.
Swimming is the prime opportunity for your child to develop water safety and survival skills. While wading around the pool can teach your child how to stay afloat, one has to actively learn the proper techniques to effectively execute styles like the breaststroke, the butterfly, the side stroke and the trudgen. This is why swimming lessons are in high demand.
13. Table Tennis
Table tennis, also known as ping-pong, originated from Victorian England and was once played by members of the upper class after dinner. These days, table tennis is much more accessible to the masses. While playing a fast game of table tennis, a child will inadvertently get a mental workout as they plan strategies and determine their next move.
Taekwondo is a Korean martial art developed in the 1940s and 1950s. It literally translates to “’way of the hand and foot” and it involves punches, kicks, blows and open-handed strikes. Children who practise taekwondo feel a sense of accomplishment as they progress along the series of belts from white to black.
Tennis is a difficult sport to learn, but less so for children than adults. When picked up at a young age, tennis improves bone health and enhances coordination while providing a great aerobic and anaerobic workout.
Is your child ready to embrace these new sports? Do look into CoachRadar.co to find the ideal instructor for your young athlete.