Not everyone likes organized sports or team sports. If this sounds like you, don't
We're going to talk about what keeps some kids from liking sports. With a few changes,
you might find out that there is a sport out there that you could like. But if not,
we'll suggest other fun ways to stay active.
Learning About Sports
Sometimes, kids feel that they don't like sports because they might not understand
how to play them or they haven't had much practice doing them.
Sports can seem complicated because of all the rules and special equipment. Even
the fields and courts they're played on come in different shapes and sizes and have
confusing-looking lines drawn on them.
People spend many years learning about favorite sports and practicing how to do
them well. So don't feel bad if you don't know the difference between a "corner kick"
and a "goal kick" in soccer. If you want to learn more about a sport, you might ask
your mom or dad about camps or programs that introduce kids to new sports. These may
be better than just joining a team that starts playing games right away without much
Gym class and intramural programs at school also can be a way to try new sports
with a mix of kids. Another way to learn about a sport is to watch instructional videos
or DVDs or check out library books that explain the rules and offer suggestions for
kids learning to play them.
If you have an older friend or family member who's good at a sport, you might ask
him or her to help you practice. Some sports are just good to understand, even if
you never want to play on a competitive team. For instance, you might play softball
or volleyball, just for fun, at a summer picnic.
A Bad Sports Experience
Some kids don't like organized sports because they were once on a team and they
didn't have fun. Maybe all of the other kids seemed to know what they were doing and
you felt unsure. Or maybe you didn't like the pressure
of competing against other teams, where you know one team is going to win and the
other is going to lose. Competition can bring out some intense emotions.
Sometimes, kids on a team get so fired up about winning that they may yell or get
upset at a player who makes a mistake. This can be stressful — especially if
it's you who made a mistake!
But everybody makes mistakes sometimes and no one should tease you for it. If they
do, it's a good idea to talk with the coach or your mom or dad. Sometimes kids need
to be reminded about being understanding and respectful to
Parents and coaches also can get upset about a game situation and put too much
pressure on kids. Kids might feel confused and stressed out during games if they're
not quite sure what they should be doing.
But team sports also can be a great experience. Kids get to improve their skills
and feel that team spirit as they work together toward a common goal.
If you've had a bad experience with a team, maybe it's time to try a new sport
or a new league. Some leagues and programs emphasize skill building over competition
— and some leagues don't even keep score!
The Right Sport
There are dozens of sports, so you might not have found the one for you yet. Lots
of kids try soccer and baseball. But what if your best sport
is going to be volleyball, cheerleading, or gymnastics? You'll have to try it
and find out.
Some kids are naturally graceful. Others are strong. And still others have great
aim. Different sports require different skills, so you'll want to try different sports
to find one that suits you. Some activities you might not think of as sports, such
as karate or cheerleading, but they are great for staying active.
If you don't like being on a team that much, you might consider individual sports.
An individual sport means a kid does the sport on his or her own. You can do these
sports competitively or just for the fun of doing them.