The Ultimate Guide to How to Help Shy Kids Join Sports and Activities
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The Ultimate Guide to How to Help Shy Kids Join Sports and Activities

If you have a shy kid, you may be wondering how to help them join sports and activities. It can be tough for kids who are shy to get out there and participate in group activities. However, it is important for their development and overall well-being. In this article, we will discuss the best ways to help shy kids join sports and activities. We will also provide tips for parents and caregivers on how to make the process easier for everyone involved.

After reading the article, use our explore page to find the best sports and activities for shy kids!

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Do You Have a Shy or an Anxious Child?

The first piece of learning how to help shy kids join sports is to determine if your child is shy or if they are anxious. This is vital because it determines the kinds of sport and activities you will get them involved in. It also determines how you go about working with them on this task!

So, the main difference between a shy child and an anxious child is that a shy child will want to participate in the activity, they are just afraid or nervous to do so. An anxious child, on the other hand, will not want to participate in the activity and may even have a meltdown if you try to force them into it. Now, there are ways to help in both of these situations.


How to Help Shy Kids Join Sports and Activities

Helping shy and anxious kids join sports will take some time and effort, but is absolute possible! The time it takes will vary child to child, but there are some common denominators here!

For a shy child, you want to help them understand that it is okay to be scared and that everyone feels that way sometimes. It is also important to help them see that the benefits of joining a sports team or an after-school activity far outweigh the negatives. Lastly, you want to give them some tools to help them succeed such as role-playing or attending practices with a friend.

Anxious children may need a bit more help than their shy counterparts. In addition to the above-mentioned tips, you may also want to consider seeking out professional help if your child is having regular meltdowns or if their anxiety is impacting their quality of life. They often need things to be worked into their routine slowly and you also need to respect when they said they've had enough.


What are the Best Sports and Activities for Shy Kids?

kids swimming for how to help shy kids join sports

In order to help shy kids join sports, you have to first determine which options are best for them. There are a lot of different sports and activities that work well for shy children. Here are a few of the best:

  • Swimming: Swimming is a great activity for shy children because it can be done individually or in a group setting. It's also low-impact so kids don't have to worry about getting hurt.
  • Tennis: Tennis is another individual sport that can also be played in a group setting. It's great for shy kids because they can start off as one on one and move into group settings over time.
  • Gymnastics: Gymnastics is a great activity for shy children because it requires focus and concentration. It's also a non-competitive environment which can help ease some of the anxiety that comes with being in groups.
  • Yoga: Yoga is an excellent activity for shy children because it requires them to focus on their breath and body. It's also a great way to help kids learn how to relax and be in the moment.
  • Art: Art is a great activity for shy children because it allows them to express themselves in a creative way. It's also a non-competitive environment where kids can feel free to be themselves.

These are just a few ideas of activities that may be beneficial for shy children. The important thing is to find an activity that your child enjoys and feels comfortable doing. With time and patience, your child will slowly start to come out of their shell and participate in more activities.


A Quick Step by Step Guide

Sometimes, it can be hard for parents to determine the best way to help shy kids join sports and activities. So, we put together a quick step by step guide that you can follow to give you a general idea on how the process goes! Of course, this is just a quick how-to, so you'll need to customize it to your child and ask for help from a professional.

  1. Present a short list of options to your shy child. These options should be varied in how social they are. For example, three options could be joining a sport, taking a solo dance class, or going to a park with a friend.
  2. See if your child gravitates towards any of the options and find of why they did or did not choose certain activities.
  3. Use that information to find the best activity or sport for your shy child.
  4. Start by doing some role play in the area of the sport of activity. Get them used to the idea.
  5. Try and enroll them in something that they have friends in or with kids they know and trust.
  6. On the first day, do your best to be supportive, but not overly enthusiastic as this may make your child more nervous. Some kids do better not thinking about the sport or activity at all until it's time go.
  7. Once there, stick around. Make sure they always know your in their corner. If they are anxious about you watching, wait in the car.
  8. Talk to them afterwards and find out what they did or didn't like. Work with them on finding the perfect sport of activity for them!

This guide is just a quick overview and will need to be tailored to your shy or anxious kiddo, but it's a great way to help shy kids join sports and activities that they'll fall in love with!

Before You Go!

Having shy children requires a little bit more patience, but once you know how to help shy kids join sports and activities, it's not as stressful! The key is learning what it is about certain sports and activities that makes them nervous, finding something that your kids are comfortable with, and easing them into the process! Once you know what they like, don't forget to check out our 2023 Summer Camp Sweepstakes!

Take a look at these additional resources for some other after school activities your shy kid may enjoy!