For most kids, involvement in sports is often a rite of passage. Whether it’s a friendly kickball game during recess or an organized football game after school, sporting activities provide a variety of benefits. Several unique sports give your kids the opportunity to learn important life and social skills.
Golf is one unique sport many parents enjoy. If you want your children to learn a sport they can play for decades, consider private golfing lessons at the local green. Because lessons and green fees can be expensive, it's wise to invest in quality equipment that won't have to be replaced often, including a good set of clubs and course-approved golf shoes. With golf, your children learn patience, self-control, discipline and sportsmanship. It’s the perfect sport for children who prefer to play an individual sport in a social setting.
Gymnastics gives your children the opportunity to exercise their bodies. It’s a great sport for overly active kids because it gives them a safe outlet for their energy. During gymnastics lessons, children as young as three years old increase their flexibility and body awareness while learning about being part of a team. If your children enjoy the sport, they can participate in a team setting while also performing individually. For safety, choose a gym with certified instructors.
Ice skating can be enjoyed year-round thanks to indoor rinks. Your children can participate in hockey, speed skating or figure skating during lessons taught by professional skaters. Purchase skates that fit properly and borrow or rent secondhand hockey sticks to keep the sport affordable. Children can learn about discipline, perseverance and teamwork on the ice. Many rinks also offer opportunities for kids to join intramural teams for formal or informal competitions.
Swimming provides your children with an outlet for energy and the opportunity to learn a sport they can enjoy for the rest of their lives. Children need only a suit and goggles to sign up for individual swim lessons or group classes at a local outdoor pool or indoor aquatics center. Swimming teaches patience, muscle control and breathing techniques and offers children the opportunity to compete against times posted by other swimmers. Every child benefits from basic swim lessons. Participating on a swim team provides an opportunity to refine those skills.
While these unique sports provide benefits for kids, they can also pose risks. Minimize the risks with the following techniques:
- Make sure your children wear appropriate safety equipment
- Check regularly to make sure the equipment, helmets, shoes and other gear fits your children’s growing bodies
- Provide adequate hydration during practice and competitions
- Treat injuries right away
- Encourage your children to balance their schoolwork and social activities with sporting events
Most kids benefit from regular sporting activities. They learn life skills, remain physically active and build character. If your children are ready to participate in a team-building rite of passage, consider enrolling them in a unique sport that will benefit them for life.