Fun is the only reason kids play sports. No fun is also the only reason kids leave a sport. To bring out the best of our junior athlets, it is all about fun.
Have you as an adult ever thought about the meaning of fun? For you fun may be the feeling of test drive a new car while experienceing the speed and the power of the engine. Then in your brain a lot of those nerve cells would be called to action to make a decision to purchase the car.
For juniors at any sports instruction, to experience the same feelings you have at your test drive, she/he whould be throwing darts or challenging in tug-of-war. The "fun" experience is always the reason juniors go back to their sports and their coach.
Yes, fun activites may not be sport specific and may not be related to the sport they sign up for!
Fun is important in junior sports and we all as an adult, parents and coaches can do better to support our kids to experience fun. Below are two things to avoid to prevent driving kids away from sports"
Kids are not small adults. Do not treat them like one.
Have you ever invented the coolest game for your kids only to find out they actaully didn't like it? Don't be too harsh with your "rules". Let the kids change the games. This is what they love to do and most of the times, this is how good junior coaches learn all the cool new games.
Adults do not understand how "fun" changes with maturation:
As kids grow up their development and maturation changes. Good programs take this into accound and coaches who specialize on kids are experts in sensing these changes.
Let's get involved into the process of Long-Term=Athlete-Development in junior sports and physical activities. Find your local TPI certified junior centers and get your kids started the right way - the FUN way!