Growing up, I played sports as most other kids do. I tried out softball for a few years, field hockey, and even lacrosse. Lacrosse was undoubtedly my favorite. However, I was never the BEST at it. I am extremely hard on myself, like most, and I became easily discouraged because I was never the best on the team. I enjoyed playing because it was a way for me to hang out with my friends and be a part of something. Over the years I participated in other activities as well.
You name it, I probably tried it. I did gymnastics when I was very little, took guitar lessons, participated in choir and theater, I did Girl Scouts…but by far my favorite activity was probably horseback riding.
I got into horseback riding in a very odd way. I went to the library with my family as we occasionally did and outside they happened to have a petting zoo. I started talking to the lady who ran the petting zoo and told her how I had always wanted to take horseback riding lessons, but never could afford it. She offered me a deal. I helped her take care of her farm (feeding animals, bathing them, cleaning out stalls/cages etc) and in exchange I could have an hour riding lesson, and some riding time once a week. I was beyond excited.
I was a natural at horseback riding. It came to me so easy. Before I knew it I was going on solo trail rides, and even practicing tricks and other different things with my horse, Trigger. I had never been so happy!
It took me a few years to find something I really loved doing, but eventually I did find it. Many kids go through the same thing I did. They like playing sports, but often get discouraged because they aren’t good at it. Kids who participate in extra-curricular activities are more likely to get good grades, complete school, and stay away from drugs and alcohol.
If they don’t like soccer, or football, encourage them to do something else! Schools have plenty of FREE extra-curricular activities but there are also a wide variety of other activities they can do. There’s bowling leagues, 4-H, rock climbing, photography, knitting, or maybe even…go-karting!
Finding something that your child loves and finding something that they’re good at is so important. Some of the best memories your child can create can stem from sports, extra-curriculars, and hobbies.