Saturday sport – we can have a love hate relationship with it. And that’s just us parents.

There’s the cold (and early) mornings, the last-minute racing round the house to find part of the missing kit, and the inherent difficulties finding the right court or field (it shouldn’t be that hard).

There are three types of kids when it comes to Saturday sports:

1) Those who don’t want a bar of it.

2) Those who put their hand up as high as it will go to take part. But then when Saturday rolls round, they’re just not that into it.

3) Those kids who just live for Saturday sport. If this is your child, you can stop reading now!

Here’s our top tips if your Saturday mornings are spent cajoling, bribing and getting angry in order to get your child on the field or out from hiding behind our legs:

  • Remind them of the bigger picture. Not every player is going to be a sports star, so as cliché as it sounds encourage them to have fun and enjoy themselves – it’s okay to have a few mess ups!
  • Let them know that they’re part of a team and it’s important to turn up, play and not let the team down.
  • Talk about why sport is good for them. Not only is it good to get exercise and let off steam, sport is good for building skills for life - like being a good team player, regulating emotions and making new friends.
  • Remind them that you’re their biggest fan, no matter what. Reassurance helps a lot with nerves.
  • Find the fun – no matter what! Everyone wants to be where the fun is.

What we love about sports (or learning a musical instrument!) is that it takes time and persistence to get better at it, one tiny skill at a time. This is all about your child (and you) adopting a growth mindset and understanding that we can overcome things, develop and become better with time and practice! Even if it doesn’t come naturally!

Not losing sight of why kids play sport!

It's always good to remind ourselves why tamariki love sport... because winning or losing is way down the list!

Check out this great research from George Washington University on the top 30 reasons kids want to participate in sports.