How to Find the Best Sport for Your Child

By Lindsey Johnson
Young girl playing tennis

Organized sports are a big part of childhood for many families. Sports teach children valuable lessons such as teamwork, camaraderie, how to lose gracefully, hard work, commitment and leadership. But what if your child isn’t interested in soccer or flag football? Are there other opportunities for them to participate in the fun? Let’s explore how you can find the best sport for your child.

Why Sports are Important

Our bodies are made to move. We are active creatures who must stay in motion to keep all systems working optimally. While not every child is the stereotypical athlete, every child can find a way to stay active that interests them and allows them to experience success. It’s important to let children try multiple activities during their early years on their quest to find something that sticks. Take cues from your child and help guide them to try activities they express interest in.

If your athlete loves soccer, football, baseball, basketball or softball, you’re in luck. Youth programs in these sports are easy to locate in just about every city or town. If these sports don’t interest your child, there’s no need to despair. There are plenty of other activities that can keep them active! There are also scholarship opportunities for some of the less popular sports if you’re looking for long-term payouts.

How to Pick a Sport for Your Child

When exploring new opportunities, help assess what might be a good fit for your child. Some questions to consider when looking for the perfect sport:

  1. Would they enjoy being part of a team sport or a solo activity?
  2. Do they have good coordination? Would ball sports be rewarding or frustrating?
  3. Do they like to be outside, or would they prefer an indoor activity?
  4. Would they prefer a group of loud spectators?
  5. Would they be more likely to try something new if a friend or sibling joined them?

Think outside the box. Offer suggestions that are both mainstream sports as well as those that they may not be familiar with. Get on YouTube and show videos of new sports and ideas. Research online and ask friends (both local and in other cities that may have different options) what activities their kids enjoy. Make it a fun experiment to explore with your child and find something that is interesting but not intimidating.

If they try a new activity and love it, bingo! Let them continue as long as it fits the family dynamics. If you strike out on your first try, keep at it! Sometimes you have to find what you don’t like in order to appreciate what you do.

Explore New Ideas!

Sporting activities to appeal to a wide range of interests:

*Denotes that scholarships may be available

  • Archery
  • Billiards*
  • Bowling*
  • Boxing*
  • Cheer*
  • Circus
  • Cross Country*
  • Cycling
  • Dance* (ballet, tap, hip hop, contemporary, jazz)
  • Diving*
  • Field Hockey*
  • Frisbee Golf
  • Golf*
  • Gymnastics*
  • Hockey
  • Horseback Riding*
  • Kayaking
  • Lacrosse*
  • Marksmanship*
  • Martial Arts (karate, Brazilian jiu-jitsu, tai chi, MMA)
  • Motocross
  • Mountain Biking
  • Paddle Boarding
  • Paintball
  • Pickleball
  • Rock Climbing
  • Roller Skating
  • Rowing*
  • Skateboarding
  • Surfing*
  • Swimming*
  • Tennis*
  • Track*
  • Tumbling*
  • Volleyball*
  • Water Skiing
  • Wrestling*
  • Yoga

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