When introducing your kids to the right sport where you want them to excel, you should remember that early specialization should not be the primary intention. In fact, you should avoid having that as your goal. Just because you used to be a tennis or basketball player that doesn’t mean your child would automatically become one too. Those who pressure their kids too much or get fixated on being successful in sports are sometimes the ones who end up with children that do not excel in competitive activities. This can be heartbreaking both for a potential young athlete and for a parent who only wants to bring out the best in their child.
A famous trainer once said: “Girls should not be in a hurry to join women, and boys should not be in a hurry to join men.” So how do you get young kids started on a sport? What is the first thing to focus on?
Experts share that body coordination exercises should be the priority in every child’s development. This refers to a child’s ability to get body parts, such as arms and legs, to work together in a correct and effective way. Aside from this, kids’ coordination includes motor planning to ensure balance and the proper timing of movements.
In starting a sport or even just basic exercise, kids who lack proper body coordination usually result in them not reaching their full motor potential. This is why parents should be observant enough to recognize the ability of their kids to use different parts of the body. Here are basic elements you need to develop in your kids to maximize good body and eye coordination. Focusing on these 3 elements will make a huge difference in your kid’s body coordination movements, which is especially important if you want them to get into sports.
1. The ability to maintain balance while the body is stationary, walking and running. Watch how your kids go from a standstill position, then into motion - do they tend to wobble? Help them by engaging in physical activities that require balancing, such as biking, playing hopscotch, or balancing on an exercise ball or beam.
2. You need to teach your kid how to react fast enough or respond quickly to action by sight, sound and touch. Play frisbee, catch or dodge ball with them and see how they adapt to an approaching object. Do they easily get hurt upon catching or getting hit?
3. Develop a good sense of rhythm or timing. Try to monitor your child’s body coordination while they dance. This activity not only helps develop their motor and coordination abilities but can be fun as well.
It goes without saying that children enjoy and learn fast when they’re in the right environment. Place them with the right same age group of children, not with adults. Be it soccer, frisbees or basketball, communication is likewise key when developing your child’s body movement foundation.