Computer games, television and other passive activities are dominating the time and attention of our kids. Play, health and recreation professionals must strongly advocate for well rounded children, and physical activity must be a part of this development. Sports can provide a structured means of supporting physical, cognitive, emotional and social development while at the same time sustaining cardiovascular fitness. Keeping children involved in Childcare in Newmarket sport is a challenge.
Currently so much emphasis is put on competition at the beginning stages of sports participation setting our youth up for failure in achieving a lifelong commitment to physical activity. Winning is an extrinsic reward which does not sustain motivation instead you need to motivate the child intrinsically. Making sports enjoyable experiences that sustain long term involvement will involve developing different techniques at different ages to encourage motivation.
At the age of five, the children love to run, jump, throw hop and be physically active in their play. They are aware of sports and emphasis should be on activities that promote motor development such as throwing, running, catching, control of body movement and spatial awareness. Let the parent emphasize on the joy of playing and avoid overscheduling. Reduce the number of activities in which the child is engaging and let the child focus on fun.
At later ages like 8 introduce the first stages of competition by initiating a loose game structure but still the emphasis is on having an enjoyable experience and continued skill development. Little emphasis should be on final score and limited rules and regulation. Avoid criticism and engage the child in a wide variety of sports. Encourage sportsmanship and mix those with more developed skills with those without.
At the third stage continued skill development and fun is important. Explore player positions and the concepts of winning and losing can be introduced along with standings. Parents should recognize the role of the child in the team as it acts as a motivating factor. Positive encouragement on making friends and having fun should be more important than winning or competing. Setting both individual and team goals is important. This is for children age’s nine to eleven.
This stage is more critical as children tend to become less active as they grow up. At this stage peers encourage more sedentary activities such as computer games. This is essential to realize that when competition is outweighing fun the potential of drop out increases. Introduce the concept of championship and best player as the previous stages have already developed this in the child. The parent should ensure that they help the child realize that sports should not be all consuming.
Play should be incorporated at all level of growth from child hood into adult hood. Increased participation in sports has health benefits such as low cholesterol and prevention of lifestyle diseases.