Youth soccer and other sports are a fun, healthy way for children to get exercise, make friends, and learn new skills. But not every kid is eager to jump into a social situation or try something new. If your child is feeling hesitant, here are a few ways to make them more comfortable.
How to Help Your Child Enjoy Youth Soccer & Sports
1. Don't Push
The more you try to force your child to participate, the more they'll resist. Some gentle persuasion may help, but in general, you should let the child go at their own pace. Also, listen to them; if they don't like this specific sport or activity, they may have an easier time in a different setting.
2. Prepare Ahead of Time
Don't just drop your child off at sports practice one day without warning. Instead, let them know in advance what to expect. Answer their questions and concerns about the sport and the practice sessions. You might even try practicing a few basic skills or roleplaying social situations so they'll know what to do.
3. Be Positive
Emphasize the positive parts of sports practice. For example, if your child has friends on the team, they'll get to play together; and even if there are some parts of the practice they don't like, any experienced coach will include fun activities they enjoy, such as practicing goal kicks or racing teammates.
4. Let Them Watch
When you arrive at their first practice, don't push your child onto the field. Instead, let them watch from the sidelines if they want. Seeing other kids having fun may convince them to try even if they were feeling reluctant.
5. Connect Them With Other Kids
Find out from the soccer club coordinators or coaches which kids tend to take the lead on the field and set a good example. Introduce them to your child and encourage them to make friends. A positive example and a familiar face on the team will help your child feel at ease and learn what to do.
If you're looking for a youth soccer club for your child, choose Beachside Soccer Club in Norwalk, CT. Their expert coaches teach children aged five and up in Fairfield County to play fair, cooperate with teammates, and have fun, all while promoting healthy living. Some participants in this youth soccer program even graduate to participate in the U.S. Soccer Academy Program, which produces professional players. To get started, call (203) 852-6969 or send a message online.