Boys and sport go hand-in-hand. Whether it’s running around the park with friends on the weekend, or playing a solo game of tennis, you’ll find most young boys are full of energy and looking to expend it.
There are a number of factors to consider when choosing a sport for your son. In this simple guide, we have pulled together information from a variety of sources, including staff here at Scots. Designed as a step-by-step guide, you should find a sport that your son enjoys and is best suited to.
1. Expose him to a number of sports
The first step is to give him the chance to play a variety of sports, both team and individual ones. While they don’t have to be organised – it could be something you do with him at home – giving him a chance to play it rather than just watching it on TV can help get the decision process started.
2. Talk about his interests and dislikes
Discuss what your son likes about sport and how he wants to spend his free time. Does he enjoy spending time with friends, or alone? Will he enjoy spending hours at training, or does he want something with a little less commitment? Were there particular elements of different sports he liked or disliked, such as a preference for kicking a ball rather than handling it?
3. Match a sport to his body type
“Each individual is born with a specific genetic coding that determines the dominant body type also known as somatotype as well as the percentage of inherited fast and slow twitch muscle fibres. This inheritance plays a critical role in determining which sport the athlete will have most success with and where attention should be focused,” explains Daniel Markham, Head of Personal Development, Health and Physical Education at The Scots College.
“As an example, an athlete that inherits a mesomorph body type with predominantly fast twitch fibres will generally gain muscle mass easily and be very strong and powerful, which would most certainly help with sprinting and contact sports. Conversely, an athlete born with an ectomorph body type and predominantly slow twitch fibres will be more suited to endurance based sports that require work capacity over an extended period like cross country running and rowing.”
4. Try multiple sports
Once you have both identified something your son may be interested in, have him sign up to play each sport. For example, he may play rugby or football in the winter, and cricket or swimming in the summer. When he starts to identify with one sport over another he can decide to focus in on that.
5. Encourage him to be flexible
Just because he has spent time in one sport during his younger years, doesn’t mean your son can’t change his mind as a teenager. His interests may change, his body may develop to suit a new sport better, or his friendship circle might grow resulting in your son wanting to spend time with new friends.
At Scots, we perform multiple tests throughout the time a student is at the College to help him gain a better understanding of his athlete profile, and to identify opportunities for improvement. Daniel remarked further, “the end goal is that we develop general athletic traits in all individuals that allow for successful sport performance and enjoyment, as well as information that helps athletes make the best choice for them when it comes to sport.”
To find out more about sporting pathways at Scots, download our Prospectus.