Sport for a kid who doesn't like sports?
My almost 6-year old says he doesn't like sports. He is currently taking a (super-mellow, no games) soccer class at his request but isn't that into it. He doesn't really like tossing balls back and forth. He's a good runner but not so into it. He will go in the pool but can't swim yet (though will likely learn this summer). He likes biking but doesn't do too much of it. He liked skiing but we live too far away from mountains and snow for that to be a regular thing for him. I'd like him to be involved in one or more sports -- for his health, to learn how to play on a team, so he has some knowledge of various games when at birthday parties and whatnot. I'm not sure if he doesn't like things like baseball and soccer because of a lack of hand-eye coordination or if he doesn't really follow fast-moving games and would be better off with a sport like swimming or karate.
For what sports have you signed up (or done with) your non-sporty kids?
Note that I'm not expecting him to go to the Olympics, I just want him to get some exercise and have some fun.
Apr 29, 2010
My 7 year old son has trouble with group activities. Even music class with his class mates is too hard for him to tolerate. Something about the competitive pressure I think. He's tried Soccer, T-ball, Karate, and Tennis seems to be okay so far. There's fewer kids to deal with at the same time. Mostly he likes to play with only a few kids at a time. We are going to try Fencing this summer. He asked me if he could try it. We also have a trampoline in our back yard. We invite his friends over to jump, it's great exercise, and they make up games to play together.
And I was always a kid who hated competition. Loved swimming, hated swim team. My sister on the other hand, OMG, so competitive. I've learned that people are naturally oriented to team or group sports or not.
Try to let you child choose what they are interested in. Offer as many opportunities as you can think of, but don't push.
Good luck! Post what you find that works, I'm always looking too!
I'm an unlikely sports booster, I was very uncoordinated as a kid and did individual sports (running) growing up.
That said, I see that for my own kids there's a learning opportunity in team sports: dealing with others towards achieving a cooperative goal. The kids on the team learn to get along, and learn to work as a group, without needing to be best buddies all the time. You also get a mix of personalities on the team, and its a great opportunity to have the kids learn about that and learn to deal with that in a semi-structured way: kid X is more aggressive, how do you play next to him when he's always taking the ball? kid Y is more passive, how do you get him to help you, or do you learn to cover for him?
Finally, I'm learning the difference between 'flow' sports like soccer, where the action is continuous, and other sports like baseball (not sure if they're called 'non-flow?') where the action happens in bursts. My son loves baseball, because there's periods of action and then periods of strategizing. Not into the flow sports. These types of sports might be better matched with different kids' personalities?
We have 5 non-sports kids, though we've pretty much tried them all. Tai Kwon Do has been successful for 2 of my children, horseback riding has also connected (though it is expensive). The closest to a team sport we've gotten was competitive swimming, but ultimately the "competitive" aspect of it sucked all the fun out of it for my daugther. Instead, my kids gravitate towards hiking and playing in the woods and in the backyard. I agree that they don't learn some of the teamwork lessons that sports can teach, but its hard to make a sports kid out of one that basically isn't interested.