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Team sports have their place in many a child’s development. For example, they can help kids with their social skills, confidence and overall physical fitness. They’re also a lot of fun–but not for each and every child. In fact, some sports, such as baseball and soccer, may seem overwhelming to shy kids due to the team size. On the other hand, sports such as tennis, bowling or golf may be a blast.
Bowling may be best for children who are both shy and not exactly athletic. That’s because in many cases, you can bowl in air-conditioned halls, and there is a minimum of sweating involved. (Granted, the alley may seem too loud to some kids.) It can also be done easily year-round.
Perhaps best of all, bowling is easy to customize. For example, if your child has a few close friends, they could make up one team in a kids’ bowling league. While this is team play, it is still a very individual sport, and many bowlers focus on improving their own averages more than “winning” or “losing.” Also, if your child is bowling on his or her own or with your family, bumpers can give an early way to succeed.
Sports that serve a practical purpose can be especially appealing. Karate and other martial arts fall into this category since they can help kids with self-defense. Students should be able to receive plenty of one-on-one instruction even if they are in a class with other children. The focus is on individual development and on routine, structure and goals in small steps.
Shy children who are good at patience and being quiet may do especially well in gymnastics. More than that, though, gymnastics can improve their coordination and mental toughness. Like bowling and karate, gymnastics is also easy to do no matter what the weather is like outside.
Tennis is a great option if your child is itching to play out of doors and is prone to injury. Compared with a sport such as soccer, tennis is far safer and can be enjoyed alone or with just one other person.
Of course, there are plenty of other fantastic sports for shy kids. It could even be that your child would excel in a traditional team sport, especially if he or she has a friend or two on the team. Other sports that shy kids do well in include swimming, roller derby, ice skating, track and golf. There are also yoga, dance and hiking. While not technically sports, they get your child exercising and have opportunities for socialization at his or her own pace (hiking clubs, for example).
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