Choosing the right sport for your child Choosing the right sport for your child

In addition to helping them acquire physical skills, finding a sport that is right for children is a key part of developing their social lives.

Medical Advisor Nora Isabel Correa – Child Psychologist, practitioner at Coomeva Private Healthcare

It is common to hear the stories of parents who have had their children try a variety of sports at a young age. At age four, they are already signed up for swimming classes, and after a few years they move on to diving only to find that the demanding training schedule wears them out. As they get older they give soccer, basketball, tennis, ballet or artistic gymnastics a try. In the end, it becomes a test of trial and error.

Some parents genuinely want their children to begin to practice a sport while others simply want to keep them busy to keep up with the fast pace that modern life demands. In either case, many parents ask the question: What is the best sport for my child? Do they have the talent they need to practice this or that sport? These are not easy questions to answer.

Child psychologist Nora Isabel Correa Franco believes that finding a sport for children not only results in a healthy lifestyle, but also helps them acquire physical skills, which are crucial for their social lives, “Playing a sport is something that you should do frequently, even if you are not talented. It’s like dancing; you should learn to move, even just a little. Sports help children socialize.” Dr. Correa Franco explains that this is one way to enrich their lives that helps prevent making them vulnerable to exploring drugs or sex.

Choosing what they like

Many people say that having the ability to play a sport is something you are born with, as if it were something chosen by God. Psychology would argue, however, that these abilities can be developed by acquiring skills. As Dr. Correa Franco states, “Professional athletes are biologically built to have outstanding abilities. But making the sport a habit, and doing it over time is something that we are all able to practice, especially when this starts at a young age.”

The first thing for parents to consider, is that placing their child in a sport is not an opportunity for parents to fulfill their lost childhood dreams. It is important to find out what they are interested in. Teach and show them what each sport is about and provide them with incentives. “Some sports are helpful to practice because they are necessary life skills, and can even save their lives, such as with swimming. If you learn to swim, you prevent a potential hazard from happening and therefore meet a need,” Dr. Correa Franco says.

It is important to consider your financial limitations and make your children aware of them, as it is not the same to practice horse riding as it is to play soccer. “Our municipal administrations offer a variety of options so that youth can play a sport at an affordable rate, they’re often even free.”

One of the risks you run while searching for the right sport is quitting. Our expert ensures that committing to a decision will help children to beat life’s obstacles, “If swimming class consists of 10 sessions, then they should be completed. This helps us to raise children that will not drop out of college just because they get bored.”

Supporting children’s love for a sport will help them to keep a greater distance from the easiest form of entertainment: technology, as many parents do not know how to keep them busy. Correa concludes her advice by saying, “Children need to be taken to the park, taken out on walks, they need to see the outdoors, this is the first step to familiarizing them with a sport.”

Playing sports helps children to become more socially integrated and acquire fundamental life values. Among other benefits, it also helps their bodies develop correctly,  especially their bones and muscles.

3 times a week at a minimum is ideally how often children should practice activities related to exercising their strength and flexibility.