Does your child have their heart set on learning a particular sport? Check together whether this sport will match their interests. There is a form of exercise for every ability level and temperament. Whether it’s swimming, tennis, football, hockey or ballet – almost every kind of sport is healthy and keeps you fit. Help your child to find the right one. It’s important that your child finds it fun so they stay keen.
Sport for kids: why is exercise good for you?
In principle, all forms of exercise are good for you. This is because sport promotes physical, mental and social skills. Sporting achievements give your child a sense of accomplishment and can thereby increase their self-confidence. Heart and circulation are exercised, stamina is improved and muscles become stronger. In addition, exercise prevents against excess weight and postural problems. Sport will help your child keep a clear head and increase their ability to learn. When they play team sports this also encourages good social behaviour, team spirit and a sense of fair play.
Spoilt for choice: which sport is best?
In most cases, kids will say themselves if they want to try a particular type of sport. Often however, it is only with children older than 10 that their interest is developed to the extent that they will stay with their chosen sport. Give your child plenty of time to make their decision and help them with it. Sports played by their best friends are not always the best ones for your child as well. Make sure that the sport matches their ability level and interests. For example, ballet makes no sense if your child has no sense of rhythmical movement. Your child’s temperament also plays a role. If they are very shy, they will probably find it harder to assert themselves when playing football. It is important that the coach knows how to deal with children, how to motivate them, and how to make exercise fun. Children who aren’t interested in what they are doing soon lose interest in sport.
More energy – ideally on a daily basis
Driving, watching TV and narrow living conditions are just some of the factors that can make us lazy. Aim to get more energy into family life every day. For example, don’t take your little angel to nursery or school by car. It is often possible to make the journey by bicycle or on foot. If your child is still too young or the journey is too dangerous to let them go alone, go with them. Or organise for your child to join a group that includes older children too, or a group that is always accompanied by a parent. With this option, the parents of all the children can take turns, so that no-one has to give up too much of their time. Exercise will also benefit your child’s academic performance. Those who run around and play with the others at break times will also be able to concentrate better in lessons. Skipping, French skipping and hopscotch are still popular in the playground today. Give your children skipping ropes, French skipping ropes and street chalk. You can find these in lots of trendy colours nowadays. Then your child will be one of the trend setters. You should be active together with your children as much as your time allows: going cycling, swimming or on a high ropes forest adventure course together, or just going for a nice walk in the countryside, is good for the whole family. This is how to share great experiences together time and again. In terms of sportiness, too, you will be setting a great example.
Sports opportunities: what can be found where?
If you want to know what sort of sports are available nearby it is worth asking the local authorities.lternatively, look in the Yellow Pages under sports colleges.You can find an overview of sports clubs on the internet at www.wir-im-sport.de.You can search for a specific sport using the search facility and this will bring up the clubs in your neighbourhood . If your child cannot decide on which sport they are interested in, let them try out a few. Most sports clubs and colleges offer trial sessions. Stay at the trial session and observe how the coaches and children get on together. It is important that your child feels happy with the sport, the group and the coach, and that they are not overwhelmed.At the start one to two training sessions per week should be enough. If, later on, your child wants to train more frequently you can still extend the number of sessions.
Criteria: the club should satisfy certain criteria
- Have the coaches got a license from the relevant sports federation? This usually means that they are well qualified.
- Do younger children under ten also have some free time when they can play and run around? This is important, since their concentration and the fun they get from a structured training session will drop off sooner or later.
- What does the club’s total activity programme look like? Is there a wide range of activities on offer, if your child isn’t keen on the sport they have chosen initially can they choose something else rather than leaving the club?
- Does the club take part in tournaments? As a rule, children over the age of 10 enjoy testing their skills in competitions.
- How much does it cost? Alongside the membership fee, your child’s sports equipment may be a significant cost factor.
Eating and drinking: simple rules
Sport takes a lot out of children and they need sufficient energy, nutrients and plenty of fluids to perform effectively. A balanced diet is therefore especially important for sporty kids, but also for non-sporty ones. A healthy diet that provides your child with all the nutrients they need will include daily portions of plant-derived foods (cereals, fruit, vegetables), as well as low-fat milk and dairy products, portions of meat, fish and eggs several times a week and salty or sweet treats only occasionally. A plentiful supply of zero calorie or low-calorie drinks (mineral water, e.g. Nestlé PURE LIFE, unsweetened herbal and fruit teas, fruit squash) will take care of the necessary fluid supply.
Give your little angels a banana, cereal bar, or a NESTLÉ ALETE Früchteriegel when they exercise. The energy contained in these healthy little energy packs can be accessed quickly.