When thinking about sports or activities people tend to visualise teams, or working together with others. That’s one of the things which children need to develop properly, but it’s not the only thing or way that development and working with others can be introduced to kids. There are many children who just don’t like sports, and there’s nothing wrong with that, that’s just how they are.
When you leave a child in a room for 5 minutes, and come back, you’ll most often see that they have found something to engage themselves with. Either they are playing with objects in the room, or making stuff up with their imagination. This is the concept of free play. For kids who don’t play sports, it becomes an integral part of their development. Different for each child, the activities they come up with when left by themselves, can range from playing tag, dancing, jumping rope, shooting hoops, or riding bikes.
If not Sports, then what?
If a child is not interested in sports, there are a myriad of other options they can be involved in to remain fit. Suppose, for those who like adventurous pursuits, there is: swimming, hiking (though this is only feasible if done outside Dhaka), gymnastics, and martial arts. For those who like to enjoy the sensation of being in motion, there’s cycling, running, brisk walking, and skating. For those who like to spend time in one place, there’s yoga, and even dance, and for those who like to move around but not that much, there’s golf. If we were to suggest a miscellaneous option, it would be playing catch, or frisbee.
Be Supportive, but also Ask Why
Sometimes the reason a child may not want to be involved in sports may be external. If you are a parent, talk to your child and ask them why they don’t want to be involved in sports. Ask them if the coach or the league they were to join is too competitive, or if they don’t like someone’s behaviour towards them. It’s also best to talk to coaches and other parents about any doubts you may have. It could be your child likes the sport, but not the competitive aspect of it. The child might be very shy, or have stage fright, thinking that they won’t be good at it, in which case, let your child know that the goal is for them to have fun and remain fit.
Different Kids, Different Needs
Some children are afraid of the ball, hence they might not like basketball or football, but may enjoy running. A child who may be too small for the football team may enjoy martial arts or gymnastics. If the child is overweight, they might enjoy swimming more than running. It is important to let children know that there is no “Normal.” Everybody is different, so they should find the thing which they like the most and stick to it.