For parents : How to inspire your children to get into sports

I’m 26 year old guy, who just got his start in running. Of course i’m not going to run tracks or compete with anyone, as i don’t have time for it. I just do it as a hobby. But surprisingly, my love for running has never been exposed before few years ago. In my childhood, my parents always tried to force football, basketball and swimming on me, as these were most common sports. But i didn’t like any one of them, so i would quit pretty quickly and never though i would be interested in sports again. But to my surprise, i started running to lose some weight, and even after i lost it, i fell in love with activity so much that i still keep practicing and hope to run a marathon one day. But even if i don’t achieve that goal for some reason, i’m happy with status quo as well – running, even if it is few miles, helps with my health and keeps my metabolism in check.

 Another outdoor sport that i love, even though it’s fairly passive, it’s ice fishing. I think except for physical activity, it teaches children the power of patience and waiting for the right moment. It also doesn’t require a lot of money, few hundred dollars tops, and that is if you want the quality gear.

But yesterday, on my commute to work, i got thinking – what if i discovered my passion for running earlier in my life? My childhood and early adulthood wasn’t disaster by any means, but i think it would be much better if i had been practicing any sports during those years. I certainly wouldn’t get overweight and get girlfriend much earlier, for once. It is common knowledge among parents that getting your kids into sports are good for your kids, but the explanation for how to do it right isn’t nearly clear. People try to force their kids into sports that they like themselves, like golf or basketball, but quite often, kids don’t show talent for it and quickly get tired of the sport. So i think the best way to approach this is by trying everything. At any age between six to twelve, when you go out to play golf or basketball, take your kids with you. Children see their parents as perfect male or female figures, and often will want to do the same thing you’re doing. And that would be the best part to introduce them to whatever sports you’re playing. Certainly not by forcing them and making practicing sport a dull task. If you happen to be on golf course a lot, take your kids with you, and get them little golf clubs that they make for kids, so kids can play along with you. They will obviously fail at first, but eventually, they’ll get good grasp of it. And even if they quickly get bored of it, at least you’ll know and won’t force them to pursue the same activities you do.

 If my father had read this advice and followed it, i think i would be much better off now. I’m of course happy with how my father has raised me, i’m just discussing hypothetical situation. So if any of you fathers need advice and happen to find it here, let me know in comments, you’ll make my day. I know i’ll certainly re-read this once i have kids.

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