The Right Sport for Your Kid

on September 6, 2011

Finding the Right Sport for Your Kid

Soccer, tennis, swimming, tae kwon do: The number of sports and activities available to kids could fill a play book. With all the choices, how do you know which one will suit your child best? According to Dr. Anthony Rao, child psychologist and author of The Way of Boys, we can take cues from our kids’ personalities and interests to help us guide them to the best fit. This also means they’ll enjoy their sport or activity more and stick with it. Allowing your little ones to try lots of things is essential, Rao emphasizes.


If your child likes Legos ...

Try: Rock climbing. Building castles, space stations and houses involves planning, focus, problem solving, and spatial relations, much like the skills utilized in rock climbing. “Quiet kids may appreciate that climbing can be done alone, with a partner, or in small groups,” Rao says. How to: You can find climbing gyms that offer kids’ classes and camps in cities across the country.


If your child likes playing outside ...

Try: Hiking or mountain biking. If your child appreciates nature, they may fall in love with these adventurous outdoor options. Each is great exercise, and can be done with friends or family.How to: Visit or for a list of trails in your area.


If your child likes drawing or writing ...

Try: Yoga. The introspection involved in sketching and writing can be translated onto the yoga mat. “These activities are also similar in that they are done in a quiet, non-stimulating environment,” Rao says. Yoga for kids is increasingly popular, and is great for youngsters who may feel uncomfortable with competitive sports.How to: Most yoga studios offer classes for kids.


If your child likes playing dress-up ...

Try: Gymnastics or dance. Both activities center on creativity and performance, and often include a sense of make-believe. How to: Visit or to find gyms and studios in your area.


If your child likes superheroes ...

Try: Soccer. “Soccer is one of the best team sports to start with,” Rao says. Its rules are easy to grasp, and active, energetic kids will get a kick out of sprinting after the ball with teammates.How to: Visit the American Youth Soccer Organization’s website to find a league near you.