Saturday 13 January 2024

Should I Encourage My Child to Join a Sports Club?

As they grow children will naturally gravitate towards different hobbies and it's so important that they get to experience a variety of activities to enable them to decide the things they like and dislike. But when is the right time to think about taking that hobby to the next level and joining a club or group? It can be difficult to decide but if your child really loves a sport or club it's definitely an option that should be considered!

James has been part of our local swimming club for several years now and he absolutely loves it (especially the competitions!) and being part of the club has given him so much more than just the ability to swim fast, it has given him friendship, determination and he is always learning new skills (both swim related and life skills too).

Generally speaking, extra-curricular activities are fantastic for a child’s growth and development in many ways. They allow children to meet new people/make new friends and also learn various transferrable key skills that can be attributed to other aspects of life. This all contributes to improved self-esteem. Joining different clubs and trying a variety of activities is also a great way for kids to try new things and develop new hobbies. 

Any kind of extra curricular activity is great for kids because it encourages them to move away from their digital devices, can help with boredom and sport clubs in particular can help exercise their bodies all at the same time. Exercise has many physical and emotional benefits as it releases endorphins around the body, so this alone is a fantastic reason to encourage your child to join a sports team. It gives them a chance to blow off some steam, constructively release some of their energy and takes their mind off the stresses of school. Without an outlet, like sport, your child’s energy and stress may be released in a negative way, such as behavioural problems or cause frustrations that they may not know how to handle. 

Another benefit of sport is that being part of a team, all with the same objective, is great for communication. Essentially, it allows a child to work well with others and express their opinions with guidance and direction from the coach. Being able to work well with other children will help your child in lessons and learn about how great it can be to work as part of a team. What’s more, being part of a team will also give your child a sense of support that they might not feel they have in school or other aspects of life. In addition, having another group of friends from those at school such as at a club provides children with lots more friendships, its good for kids to have a variety of friends as they grow. 

Being part of a sports team or taking part in any extra-curricular activity for that matter, could even put your child at an advantage when the time comes for them to apply to universities or jobs. They may be more able to demonstrate an ability to juggle multiple commitments and explore their hobbies. You may even find that their hobby actually turns into something they want to go on to study at college or university. 

Of course, you will have to consider if sport is really the right option for your child. If your child progresses in a club you will most likely need to buy a kit and uniform of some kind to enable to child to perform better or fit in with the team. This could be things like swimming aim, fins, kickboards etc for swimming, football boots and shin pads for football, Adidas Badminton shoes and rackets for badminton, etc. It is worth looking into the costs involved as these can soon add up too. 

It is also worth considering whether it suits their personality and caters to their personal interests or is it something they want to do because their friends are? It may take some time to find the right sport, club or activity for your child and if sport isn't their thing there are lots of other clubs they could try such as music clubs, scouts groups, and drama clubs too. Discuss the options with your child, research clubs they may like that are available in your area, and get them involved with making the discussions so they can express the clubs they like the sound of too. 

Is your child part of a sports club? If so which sport do they do and do you find it has any added benefits for you or your child? 


**This is a collaborative post.**

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