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Snow Dad - Why do kids start snow sports


As our kids begin to grow we ask ourselves: Why would my child choose sports?

Some of the answers which spring to mind are: it is because our environment and society we live in does, we see sports in the media, we are inspired by a world class athlete in our country, our kids families and friends play sport and so should they or simply our kids should play sports because we as parents play sports. There are many possible answers to the question, however for the true answer we must look at why a child engages with anything in the first place.

According the research data from The Journal of Happiness Studies, the primary reasons for a child to engage in an activity are:

a)    The activity must arouse all 5 senses
b)    The child must feel he/she has succeeded no matter the outcome
c)    Children can see and understand a line of progression
d)    At low points support is provided
e)    An atmosphere of “play” must be present
g)    Children have a chance to connect with other persons.

These factors can all be present or only partly present.

Now that we understand why a child engages in an activity, the natural next question is which activity? As parents we know from experience these items can be found in a multitude of areas. But one of the easiest places to find these attributes is sports and even easier in snow sports. By its nature snow sports contains all the characteristics listed above. It must be noted that some of these are heavily influenced by the actions of parents and instructors however many of these naturally occur. What is also worth noting further is that each childs basic expectations are different from yours. Therefore we must put trust in them and allow them to grow through self learning.

In conclusion, if you are a parent, ski/snowboard teacher, ski/snowboard club manager, ski resort, equipment manufacturer or simply have a stake in the snow sports industry the key to engaging children in snow is providing the six elements above. If you do, before you know it the children will be enjoying snow sports as much as you have.

Enjoy life, enjoy sport!

Andrej Miklavc. Olympian, Author of THE SPORTSKID WHISPERER and CEO of Winter Sport Expert Group

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