Soccer, softball and baseball are spring sports that kids have played for generations. While many kids thrive in a team sport environment, other kids just don't find team sports a great fit. Luckily, today there are dozens of individual, growingly popular options for kids to try. With all of the availability, your kids are sure to find one sport (or more!) they'll love to try.
Children benefit in many ways from learning archery. The sport teaches focus and self-discipline, as well as balance and coordination. Drawing a bow and arrow and shooting at a target may look simple, but the practice takes core strength, great posture and incredible eye-hand coordination. When kids miss the mark, they learn what went wrong and immediately set out to improve it—a lesson that will serve them well not only in sports but also in life. Plus, because archery can be done both outdoors and indoors, it's a sport your child can participate in all year long.
Many parents have found that spending a few hours at the rock wall is a great way to help their kids burn some energy. But rock climbing as a sport has many other less obvious benefits. The first is the impact climbing can have on your child's strength, endurance and flexibility. Rock climbing is a physically challenging sport, and kids who climb regularly are fit and strong. The sport also builds confidence and self-esteem as kids choose the best routes up the wall and conquer the challenge all by themselves. Popularity for the sport is growing, and it will be featured at the Olympics for the first in Tokyo in 2020 as sport climbing.
Are your child's favorite toys horses? Do they beg you to take them horseback riding? Whatever it is, if your child is drawn to horses, you'll know it. Horseback riding is a wonderful sport for kids. Not only does it teach them great responsibility (many children shovel stalls in exchange for discounted riding lessons), but kids with a true passion for horses spend hours at the barn, outside and away from the incessant onslaught of phones, computers and televisions. Riding horses is great exercise and helps kids develop balance, coordination and flexibility. And the love of horses can evolve as your child grows as horseback riding can be done at any age.
Taekwondo is a Korean martial art that requires great control. Much more than kicking and punching, Taekwondo teaches children life skills that will stay with them for the rest of their lives. For example, in taekwondo children are judged against their own ability—not against their proficiency compared to others. As kids practice and meet their own goals, their confidence and self-esteem grow. The sport also teaches children how to work hard and delay instant gratification for a big goal. Earning a new belt can take months, and kids learn to work hard for long periods of time to take a new step up in the sport.
Fencing is a sport that is quickly growing in popularity with kids. Defined as the "martial art of fighting with blades," it has been called a strategic game of cat and mouse. The sport requires serious mental focus, as children strategically plan their next move while also monitoring the moves of their opponent. While fencing, kids take their success into their own hands, and they learn to win and lose with grace. Fencing coaches have said that kids who love Legos, robotics and computer games may especially be drawn to the sport, as it requires both physical and mental fortitude.
It's easy to picture Olympic ice skaters leaping around in the rink and throwing themselves into the air to complete gravity-defying twists. But long before skaters reach that level of completion, they began by skating around at the rink for the joy of it. Ice skating as a sport provides great exercise, but it also teaches children how to manage stress and perform under pressure. Like most other sports, ice skating teaches children how to work hard for a goal and improves their self-esteem as they practice and improve. Plus, it's a sport that can be enjoyed for a lifetime, long after the competitions are over.
The only team sport to make the list, rowing is a sport in which the role of every person in the boat is to move it forward through the water. That may sound simple enough, but the effort is extremely physically challenging, providing a great cardio workout and engaging muscles in the whole body. In rowing there are no superstars, so the sport is a great fit for kids who don't want to stand out. With rowing, kids can enjoy the thrill of competition without being judged on their individual performance.
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