While some kids may show signs of a young athlete, others may just be testing the waters trying to assess if they love outdoor sports. For parents who intend to encourage an already innate passion, or wish to spark some interest in sports, here are a few ways to motivate them to include sports into their lives–

1. Making Sports Fun
The key to making sports a lifelong passion in your child is to make sure that they associate it with fun. Avoid turning every session of play into a coaching activity. Make sure that your child and you simple enjoy the game when you play it.

2. Give Importance to the Effort not the Outcome
While competition may be the eventual motivation behind most sports, make sure you praise your child for the hard work they put in and not the number of runs or goals they made. Focusing on statistics can take the fun out of the game.

3. Explore Different Sports
Let your child try out different sports. Send him or her for football or cricket coaching for a few weeks and let the child decide if they are enjoying the sport. Some kids may need that little extra encouragement to stay motivated to begin with. Take the coach into confidence and take their help in making sure your child enjoys the sport. Sooner or later, they will settle into the one they really like.

Nurturing Sporting Skills
By the time your child is in the first grade, he or she will be able to jump, throw, catch, skip and gallop. In addition to this, their athletic interests will begin to show. Here are a few physical activities you can encourage your child to do outside of his or her coaching classes to nurture the skills needed to do well in a sport –

1. Practice Jumping
Younger kids can be taught how to jump rope the easier way, by flipping the rope over them without jumping. As they grow older and their balance improves, they will be able to skip rope like pros.

2. Perform some Drills
For instance, you can set up a soccer ball a few feet from a net and have your child practice kicking and try to score goals. Increase the distance between the net and the ball every time your child gets better.

3. Encourage your Child’s Individuality
Especially if your child isn’t a natural team player, or cannot handle competition, find exercises that make him or her happy. Dancing, playing hopscotch or riding a bicycle are all great ways to help your child include sports in his or her everyday life.
While every parent wants their child to excel in everything they day, make sure that you are patient with them in helping them find a sport that is perfect for their personality.