In Australia it’s so common for parents to choose one sport for their child when they’re 5 or 6, then they play that same sport until they get sick of it and then give up playing sport altogether. I did the exact same thing, played soccer until a couple years ago and then gave up because I was bored of it.
But there are so many sports out there, and the chances of choosing the right sport for your child when they’re five years old is extremely low. This is why it’s probably worth encouraging them to give a few other sports a go. If they’re keen to try something new, we’ve made things a little bit easier for you by working out which personality types are likely to enjoy different sports.
Of course, these are generalisations, so they’re not going to be 100% accurate. But hopefully it will still give you a decent idea of what sport your child might like to have a go at.
Is your child curious and open to new experiences? Ultimate frisbee could be the perfect sport for them. I mean, to play such an obscure sport you have to be pretty open minded. Frisbee is also a great choice for anyone who wants to stay active and have fun, rather than being overly competitive. Most frisbee competitions are social, so everyone will have a similar mindset (unless your child is a skilled natural and end up playing in the top divisions).
If your child is artistic, creative, and maybe a tad dramatic every now and then (who isn’t though, right?), maybe they should give dance a go. Within the umbrella of dance, there are so many styles, like ballet, hip-hop, jazz, or even ballroom so there’s bound to be a genre that suits their vibe. While all styles of dance are a great workout, if you want to focus more on the fitness than the artistic aspect of dancing, you should have a look into barre classes, which blend dance and yoga for a great workout.
If they love the ocean, and don’t mind spending a bit of time by themselves, surfing is a great shout. Most people who love surfing are also pretty laid back but love a bit of fast-paced adventure. I’ve dabbled in surfing a little bit, and maybe this says more about my ability than the sport in general, but from my experience they’ll probably spend more time paddling out to the break and sitting, waiting for waves than they will actually surfing them. So patience really is a must if your child is going to enjoy surfing.
If your child is confident, determined, and loves to make an impact, basketball could be their vibe. Sure, it’s a team sport. But there’s plenty of opportunities for them to shine as an individual on the court because there’s fewer players on each side compared to other sports. Because of this, basketball is perfect for anyone who enjoys being part of a team, but wants to be more than a cog in the system.
Martial arts are such an underrated sport to choose. Whether it’s karate, kung fu, judo, muay thai or Brazilian jiu-jitsu, it’s a great choice for anyone who’s disciplined but humble and wants to be prepared for anything that comes their way. Each martial art has its points of difference, for example taekwondo and karate both utilise kicking and striking to defend against opponents, whereas judo involves a lot more grappling, aiming to wrestle your opponent to the ground.
If your child would love the option to exercise in a group or by themselves in the comfort of their own room, they should definitely give yoga a go. It’s the perfect sport for anyone who’s spiritual and calm (or wants to be more calm), and loves a slow-paced but challenging workout. And with a wealth of great classes available for free on youtube, they can start practising yoga right now.
When your child finds a sport they love, it’s so much easier to stick to regular exercise. So if helping your children stay active is a priority for you this year, choosing the right sport for them is a great place to start. Whether it’s one of the sports mentioned in this article, or something completely different that they’re keen to have a go at, encourage them to take the plunge!