Not everyone likes organized sports or team sports. If this sounds like you, don't sweat it.
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.
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 explaining first.
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.
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 each other.
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!
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.
Here's a list of some individual sports:
You might wonder why grownups want you to try sports and be active. There's a good reason: Playing sports is a great form of exercise and exercise keeps your body healthy.
We've already talked about the many sports to choose from, but there's even more good news — many other nonsport activities can provide exercise and keep you active, including:
You also might find that by limiting your use of electronics — TV, computer, and cell phone — you'll just naturally be more active.
So, no, you don't have to play a sport, but you might still find one you like. The most important thing is to be an active kid.
And you have a world of activities to choose from. Somewhere out there is a special one that's just right for you!
Reviewed by: Mary L. Gavin, MD
Date reviewed: September 2013
|BigSoccer.com This site features soccer links from around the world, chats, and more.|
|The Y The Y also offers camps, computer classes, and community service opportunities in addition to fitness classes.|
|Kids Sports Network This organization promotes quality nonschool sports and fitness for children between the ages of 3 and 19 through coaches, education, special events and activities, public awareness, and regular networking with youth sports organizations and agencies.|
|Sports Illustrated for Kids This website features sports information for kids, including articles on famous athletes, games and quizzes.|
|Why Exercise Is Cool Exercise can help keep a kid's body fit and healthy. Learn more about what exercise can do for you in this article for kids.|
|Taking the Pressure Off Sports Competition Sometimes sports competition can make kids feel pressure. If it's too much, a kid might not have as much fun as before. Find out what to do if this happens to you.|
|Five Ways to Avoid Sports Injuries Sports injuries often can be prevented. Find out how in this article for kids.|
|It's Time to Play If you're a kid, playing is your job. But sometimes you need a few ideas to get you going. Find them here in this article.|
|What Girls Say About: Sports Girls who like sports really like them - even more than texting or the mall. And most girls who say they don't like sports want to get better at them.|
|Kids Talk About: Coaches Coaches are key people for kids who play sports. Find out what kids have learned from their coaches.|
|5 Reasons Girls Should Play Sports Lots of girls love sports. Here are 5 more reasons to keep on loving them!|
What to expect when coming to Akron Children's
For healthcare providers and nurses
Residency & Fellowships, Medical Students, Nursing and Allied Health
For prospective employees and career-seekers
Our online community that provides inspirational stories and helpful information.