Sports for Kids

Finding the right sports for kids can be tough, as Australia is a sporting nation through and through. We play sports everywhere from beaches to office corridors and driveways. You’re allocated an AFL team at birth and we rule the pool every Olympic Games and our kids are going to be curious about sports because it’s a big part of our culture.

However, according to the ABS, only six out of 10 children aged between five and 14 years participate in sport outside of school!

That figure could be a lot higher, so if it’s time to investigate team sports for your son or daughter, there are many benefits to be had including it being an excellent way for them to learn social skills.

Why Start Kids Early?

Well, It’s all about creating good habits early in life. Being active can help children stay at a healthy weight, which is important for overall health. Over the long term, exercise can help reduce the risk of many diseases, including heart disease and osteoporosis, and it’s also known to improve mental health, greatly reducing symptoms of anxiety and depression.

Sports for kids

Other benefits can include:

  • Reduced risk of obesity

  • Better cardiovascular fitness

  • Healthy growth

  • Greater cooperation

  • Improved coordination and balance

  • Better sleep

  • Greater self-belief

  • Improved self confidence

  • Improved social skills

Playing a team sport may give your child a chance to discover skills they might never have known they had otherwise. Also, participation helps teach them the benefits of trying new activities and what’s possible with practice and persistence.

Which Sports For Kids are Best?

The possibilities are endless, so there’s something for everyone. According to 2018 Roy Morgan research, the most popular team sports for kids in Australia are:

  1. Soccer

  2. Basketball

  3. Dancing

  4. Tennis

  5. Netball

Most sporting bodies and local councils support junior programs designed to introduce kids to sports, with a big emphasis on getting involved and having fun, for example, the AFL runs AusKick, where kids are taught the basics of the game. However, you’ll need to register for these programs, and fees apply. You’ll also need to think about whether the sessions times work with your family routine, so your child can make the most of attending on a weekly or fortnightly basis.

If you’re looking for an option where your child gets to sample different sports, there are multi-sport programs available. These programs are great because your child will get active while figuring out which sports they like most. Also, these programs often have lots of exciting team building games, obstacle courses and more. From these sessions you can figure out which sport is the favourite and then pick one to sign up for on a regular basis.

In addition to this, you can check the notice board of your local library, read over the council newsletter, or do a quick internet search to explore what sporting programs are available in your area. Don’t be scared to try a couple out until your child finds the perfect fit.

Spread The Love Of Getting Active

How can you teach your kids to get the most from their experience? The main this is to lead by example. Once you introduce the idea of sport, exercise and having fun, it will be less daunting for your child when they get outside their comfort zone.

Often it may take time for your child to warm up to the idea of playing sport, so make sure you support and encourage them each step of the way. Basically, be sure to put more emphasis on fun over fundamentals and show up. Being present makes a huge difference when it comes to your child’s participation. So make sure you can attend as many sessions as possible, cheer from the sidelines and remove distractions like phones and social media so you can both enjoy the moment.

For this reason, if you mange to give your child an active start by trying out different team sport, a little work now will go a long way as they get older.

At least if they happen to have an injury whilst wetting their teeth, make sure to visit one of our child friendly Physiotherapist’s at our Keilor East Clinic.

James Watts