How to motivate your child to practice sports

A campaign to fight children’s physical inactivity was implemented during Olympic and Paralympic week, which was held from February 3 to 8. The opportunity to come back to a question that many parents ask themselves: how to motivate their child to practice sports and more generally give them a sense of effort and perseverance? Our lines of thought.

Introduce your child to sports practice to motivate him

How to motivate him? And when to start? Specialists will respond to each parent ”  as soon as possible  “. This means that as soon as he knows how to  walk,  we can consider  simple activities  to give him a  taste  for  sport.  By emphasizing  pleasure  to begin with.

Do you like hiking? Take your child with you for short distances by setting  mini-goals  to motivate him. A snack and the promise of a sublime view will allow him to walk without complaining, for example. If you practice a sport diligently, why not try to share your passion with it? However, remember that it is not because you love swimming that it will be the same for your child.

More broadly, let him  try several activities  before triggering a click for one (or more) sport. Don’t give in right away if he wants to give up. Sport is an area where you learn  perseverance  and a  taste  for  effort. Set a deadline  after which you will make a decision, because it must not become a suffering. Never forget that parents are  prescribers by the example they set  !

Find the right words to encourage him

You expect him to do his best in the activity he has chosen given the money and time invested. If the result is important, so is the progress made to achieve it. More generally, it is advisable to keep a  positive  and  benevolent attitude  to  motivate  your child.

The right words:

Seek to know if he felt  pleasure  and if he had fun after training or a competition: “What did you prefer during this day? »

In case of failure during a competition, stay  positive  and limit yourself to the facts and find the words to  console him  “you will do better next time”.

Value  actions or attitudes: “I saw that you take your teammates into account, that’s good” or “you have a good command of the forehand”.

If you attend sporting events, manage your  emotions  ! Remember that you are an example.

More generally, use positive vocabulary  .  If he says “I’m bad”, answer him “what do you need to progress?” “. An “I can’t do it” turns into “you can’t do it yet”. And that makes all the difference!

Motivating  and  supporting  a child who plays sports also means finding the right balance between work and leisure. Our children already have a lot of obligations, let’s not forget that sport must remain a pleasure!

Sports activity among young people: an alarming observation

A study by  the WHO  (World Health Organization) published by the journal  The Lancet  recently showed that France did not rank in a very good position in terms of children’s sports practice. It ranks 119th out of 146 countries observed. Among the criteria used, we find that of the time devoted daily to physical activity, among adolescents, the latter is less than one hour per day*. There is also a 25% drop in cardiovascular capacity over the past 40 years. In addition, 20% of children are overweight. When we know that a sedentary lifestyle is a proven cause of death, it is urgent to introduce our children as quickly as possible to the benefits of sport.

*only 11% of girls and 25% of boys between the ages of 6 and 17 exercise more than one hour of physical activity per day.