There are lots of different skills required for athletics. While your kid may seem to be the most nonathletic individual you’ve ever met, there may be a hidden athlete under that veneer. All children take time to mature and develop. While they may not be athletic right now, that doesn’t mean that they can’t develop strength, endurance, flexibility and balance. Those are all the traits necessary for an athlete.
How do you define an athlete?
While not all parents look to their child to be the natural athlete that could make a pro football team without much training, being an athlete is more than that. It’s developing the mind and the discipline to become good at an endeavor that requires physical prowess. Athleticism can be defined many ways. It might be the ability to catch a ball, outrun a tackle or sink a basketball. It can also be the ability to run great distances, lift heavy loads and ride a bike faster than another. Every child has the ability to participate and do their best in some athletic capacity.
It’s determination, desire and direction that makes an athlete.
Learning to set goals and being held accountable for achieving them is one of the biggest benefits of becoming an athlete, but also one of the pre-qualifications for continuous superior athletic performance. Athletes love what they’re doing, often because they were good at it. Boosting a child’s belief in their abilities, providing them with a program to develop fitness and making it fun can help any child be more athletic.
Exercise can improve strength, endurance, flexibility and balance, plus so much more.
With practice and active participation the neural pathways in the brain develop to improve the body in a number of ways. It improves hand-eye coordination and other motor skills, but it also boosts cognitive thinking, problem solving, focus and other essential mental functions. It boosts the size of the hippocampus, which is directly involved with memory and learning, while also aids in the development of new brain cells. Even if a child is never a pro athlete, he or she will benefit from a program of regular exercise.
- A shy child can get a boost of self-confidence and self-esteem from participating in a program of regular exercise.
- While it might not produce an Olympic athlete, a program of regular exercise can improve social relationships and teamwork.
- No matter what a person’s age—regular exercise can help reduce anxiety and depression. It’s a great outlet for reducing stress, even for children.
- Early training in physical fitness can lead to a lifelong goal of healthy living and put your child on a path of good health.