1) Find a program, club or community that shows commitment to including all kids in the group or team. Ask if you can come and watch or do a trial to see if the culture of the club reflects a positive attitude to inclusion and valuing all kids in the group.
2) Help them practise the basics, for example throwing and catching balls at home will support their confidence when playing the game.
3) Emphasise the fun- kids learn and participate better when they are enjoying themselves. Introduce them to sports that they can have fun doing, for exampling trampolining may be a lot more fun than racquet sports for a child whose coordination skills are still developing.
4) Tell them the positive things you have seen them progress with – eg “your goal kicking is getting better every time”
5) Find a buddy– it may be easier to start in a team with a familiar person alongside them. Joining with other kids from their friendship group may help them feel supported in a new sport or team.
6) Practising skills at home with family members/siblings/parents. Emphasize the FUN and asking the child what they really want to do. If the family do the activity socially, the child is more likely to do it as well. For example, a bike riding family will encourage and support their children to get onto a bike and support their skill development on a bike; same for soccer families or footy, etc. Families/parents – look at your own activities first and encourage from there.
7) Start small and aim for a variety of experiences- “have a go” programs enable children to try a variety of sports without a big commitment to a whole season of competition. This will help you figure out which sports your child enjoys- you might be surprised at their choices!
8) Don’t forget to use your “sports for schools” voucher to get $100 funded towards the cost of sports fees https://www.sportsvouchers.sa.gov.au/