What if Tom Brady never picked up a football or Venus Williams never had the chance to step onto a tennis court as a child? Both of these superstars would have missed out on their opportunity at pursuing something they love as a career and for their lifetimes. This goes to show how important it is to let your child try a variety of activities, sports and hobbies as they grow up. When a child is born, parents are unaware of both the potential and passion they have, and it must be found through a trial and error process.
For younger kids
While young children cannot make these choices for themselves, as a parent you should enroll your child in a sport and hobby. See how they participate, react, and discuss their activity. The right fit will have your child excited to partake and contribute. Not only that, but they’ll brag all as about scoring a goal in the soccer game or learning a new song on the guitar. On the other hand, a child’s disinterest will be apparent as well. Excuses and whining from your child when it comes to attending and participating are surefire ways to know that the given activity may not be the right fit.
For older kids
As your child gets older, encourage them to join different clubs and teams at their school or local community center. Aside from socialization and teamwork, they will begin to see what they like and dislike about each activity. This will not only help them find a fulfilling hobby or activity but will also help them in college and their careers later in life. For example, a child might enjoy the team mentality of football or the individual mental development of mock trial. If your child finds something they are passionate about, support them in learning and excelling at the activity but also reassure them that if they haven’t found something they love, they still can.
Middle and high school provides a plethora of opportunities and communities across the country have local teams and clubs for teens to join. From dance classes to girl scouts or little league baseball to the drama club, there is something out there for every child. The more activities your child is able to try, the better idea they will have about what they like, dislike and where their talent is best used. Forcing a child into an activity can be detrimental to their motivation and hinder their exploratory nature.
The benefits of multiple hobbies
Having your child try multiple sports and/or hobbies will not only help them determine what they’re interested in. It will also teach them a plethora of skills that will help them later on. Even if your child doesn’t stick with a particular hobby, they will learn crucial lessons that will help them in school and in the sports and/or hobbies they do stick with.
For example, in the book Range, the author David Epstein describes how tennis star Roger Federer tried out various sports growing up. While tennis was certainly one of them, he also played basketball, handball, table tennis, soccer, badminton, and dabbled in other sports like skiing, wrestling, and swimming. His parents further encouraged him to try out different sports, and when it came time to focus on tennis, his coaches found that he was no further behind than his peers who only played tennis for most of their lives. In fact, quite the opposite. Experts largely credit his early sampling of sports for teaching him skills that would end up helping him to become the number one tennis player in the world.
At Steadfast Academy, we believe it’s crucial to introduce children to a wide variety of hobbies and sports. That’s why we encourage our kids to try out many activities in our program. To learn more about our program, contact us today to schedule a tour!