We all know that person, that kiddo, the one that just doesn’t care about sports.
If you were an athletic person or if you still are an athletic person, it can be really confusing to you if your child doesn’t want to play sports, or doesn’t seem to be interested in those activities that you loved as a kid.
Not every kid loves sports. And that is fine! Kids often still love just being active and frequently will develop a love of sports at a later age and sometime it just takes finding that sport that really appeals to them and may well be a less common kids sport such as junior golf, squash, mountain biking, or other outdoor activities such as hiking, fishing etc.
And that is OK. But if you’re the parent of a kid that doesn’t love sports, it can be challenging to understand and even more challenging to find activities that your kid might enjoy.
Not to worry, though. There are plenty of activities out there that your child can participate in, without needing to be athletic.
Some of these activities can give the same kind of experience that sports do, such as teamwork, practice skills, and leadership.
As a parent of a non-athletic child, you just need to have an open mind and be ready to have experiences that are different than those that you and your parents had.
How to know if your kid is non-athletic?
Believe it or not, it may be hard to recognize if your child is non-athletic.
Many non-athletic children love to play outside, run around, and be outside.
However, enjoyment of play and being outdoors doesn’t always mean that your child is going to love participating in sports or other athletic activities.
So the question becomes, how do I know if my kid is non-athletic?
Here are some cues that you can look for to determine if your child is non-athletic.
Disinterest in sports
This can be the most obvious of the cues that your child is non-athletic. If your child just doesn’t care about sports, there is a good chance that they are non-athletic.
Many parents, with much frustration, enroll their kids in organized sports or even individual sports (like tennis or golf), only to watch their child have minimal enthusiasm or complete disinterest in participating.
If this is your child, and you’ve tried every sport on the planet, with no change in interest, it’s a good chance your child is non-athletic.
Lack of skill in athletic activities
This can be frustrating for both you and your child, and can also be a good indication that your child is non-athletic.
Some kids just don’t do well with sports. They are uncoordinated or they just don’t pick up the skills necessary to participate successfully.
This can lead to your child feeling frustrated or disappointed when they don’t do well in an athletic activity.
These kids often find more enjoyment in activities that they can do well in. If this is your child, it’s a good chance they are non-athletic.
The enthusiasm for different activities
Maybe your kid just loves music or art or dance. This might be one of the easiest ways to know if your kiddo isn’t athletic.
If they just love drawing, painting, dancing, reading or playing games, your kiddo is probably non-athletic.
Now, it is important to note that many kids love these activities and are athletic, but kids who are non-athletic are likely to prefer these sorts of activities and reject the opportunities to participate in athletic activities over music, art or another activity.
What actually does it mean that someone is non-athletic?
You know, the funny thing about non-athletic people, is that they may be some of the most healthy people you know.
Just because a person is non-athletic, doesn’t mean that they don’t participate in fitness activities or enjoy being active.
The same is true for kids. Just because they are non-athletic, doesn’t mean that they aren’t active, healthy people.
Someone who is non-athletic is truly a person that doesn’t enjoy or excel at sports.
For a parent, this can be confusing. Especially if you were athletic, you may see your active child, and want them to participate in sports.
However, if they would rather read or play an instrument, instead of picking up a football or playing on a team, you need to accept this difference and nurture the skills that your child has, instead of pushing them into an activity that they won’t enjoy.
Pushing a child to participate in an activity that they don’t enjoy, aren’t successful at or don’t want to do, can create resentment, and a bad attitude.
There is nothing wrong with your child being non-athletic. It is more common than you likely realize.
The best thing you can do if your child is non-athletic is to nurture their skills and find activities that they enjoy.
What are some fun activities for non-athletic kids?
Speaking of finding activities that your non-athletic child will enjoy, there are plenty of great options out there, you just need to find the right ones.
Here are some suggestions of activities that your non-athletic child might enjoy.
- Dance – this is an activity that isn’t really a sport but will give your child the same benefits of participating in a sport. Many kids that don’t want to play an organized sport will excel at dance. To them, it feels more like an art form than an athletic activity. For you, it may feel like they are getting good exercise, and are working with other kids, just like if they were playing a sport.
- Music Lessons – Playing an instrument can lead to participation in band or choir. Musical groups give kids the same teamwork and leadership skills that sports teams do, but without the “sport”. Many non-athletic kids are natural musicians.
- Art Lessons – Many non-athletic kids are natural artists. Allowing your child to develop their natural skills, will make them happy, and make inspiring them fun for everyone.
- Youth Organizations – Try out groups like the Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, 4-H or FFA. These types of organizations have a variety of opportunities for your child to learn new skills, work with other kids and develop leadership and work ethic skills that will be invaluable for them, throughout their lives.
Playing sports isn’t for everyone. If your kid is non-athletic, they would probably rather do anything other than play a sport.
As a parent, it’s your job to recognize what your child enjoys and help them develop those skills.
If your child is non-athletic, don’t forget to help your child build healthy habits like good eating, and exercising.
Just remember, your child’s happiness doesn’t come from sports, so find an activity and options that make both you and your child happy.