kids on a soccer field

Advice from kids: why sports are #1

Want to have more fun while doing sports? Get tips from young sports fans on topics like motivation, nutrition and the best reasons to do sports.

Most adults rely on other adults for guidance when it comes to sports, but kids may actually know something we don’t: they tend to have more fun doing sports, progress faster, and make more friends in the process. To discover their secrets, read these insightful tips from sporty kids aged 5 to 18.

little girl smiling while hiking

Good reasons to do sports

Why do people play sports? There are plenty of good reasons to pick up an active hobby—from taking care of your body to boosting your mood and getting out of the house. We asked our young athletes for their top 3 reasons to do sports:

First, it's really good exercise. Second, sometimes it can be really fun! And third...I don't know.” - Iris, 8

It’s really good for your physical and mental health, you can make a lot of friends that way, and it’s really fun.” - Hugo, 11

Well, it’s a good activity, that’s one. To get stronger. And it helps your mind refresh.” - Max, 11

Because I like it…one. Two… because it stretches your muscles. And three… because you move a lot!” - Juliette, 5

kids playing basketball outside

Fueling your performance

Eating properly before and after playing sports is important. Turns out, most young athletes know a thing or two about sports nutrition, and they’re pretty responsible, too. When asked what they would eat before and after a game as a professional athlete—only one person mentioned ice cream...

Probably fruits and vegetables… After a game, a healthy meal… maybe a salad and a side dish.” - Max, 11

I wouldn’t eat a lot before the game because I would get cramps, but maybe I would eat, like, a salad. And if I won, then after the game I think I would get something to celebrate, like maybe a popsicle?” - Marley, 9

I would probably have an apple or a granola bar - an easy to access snack. They are fast, and also yummy.” - Kaya, 11

Before, I would eat an apple, some peppers…lots of vegetables. Afterwards, I would eat something a little more sweet because I would deserve it after doing my sport. My favourite treat would be an ice cream, or... an orange! That’s sweet too.” - Juliette, 5

Dressing for success

What do you wear when you do sports? It can be complicated, or really simple—it depends on the sport, obviously. Just remember to wear the right stuff for each sport, as Juliette explains:

I wear a bodysuit for gymnastics, shoes…if I’m running, I would wear running shoes. And if I was swimming, I would wear a bathing suit, but no shoes.” - Juliette, 5

For hockey I wear a helmet, neck guard, shin pads, skates, some people wear protective socks, elbow guards, shoulder pads, jock strap, um… some people wear mouth guards, well, a jersey and long socks over your shin pads, pants…” - Max, 11

I wear thin clothes, and clothes that are easy to move in. And clothes that you can breathe in.” - Marley, 9

little girl smiling in a bodysuit for gymnastics

“I wear a bodysuit for gymnastics, shoes…if I’m running, I would wear running shoes. And if I was swimming, I would wear a bathing suit, but no shoes.”

Staying motivated

It isn’t always easy to stay motivated through the ups and downs. Kaya, Max, and Marley put on their coach hats and gave some great advice on how to keep pushing and progressing while keeping sight of what’s most important—having a good time.

If I were a coach, I would tell my team to always know that they are doing their best, no matter what other people tell them. They should know that they are great.” - Kaya, 11

Just keep going, it’s just a game for fun. The real thing is to have fun. No pressure.” - Max, 11

I would tell them, well, to try their best and no matter if they win or lose, they tried their best so get out there and HAVE SOME FUN!” - Marley, 9

girl sitting with her longboard

Sharing knowledge and making progress

No one is amazing at a sport their first time around. The point is to do your best and keep practicing so that you get better over time.

You’ll have to practise a lot (laughs).” - Hugo, 11

I would tell other people to have patience when trying to get good at something, because giving up wouldn’t accomplish anything.” - Kaya, 11

Even when it’s hard, you have to keep going.” - Greta, 16

Plus, it helps to have a coach or teacher to point you in the right direction. Sometimes the advice that helps you progress will be technical, like Max who remembers being advised not to stick handle so much. And other times, it’s about adopting the right mindset, as was the case for Marley:

Well, in my karate class, my sensei (which is a karate teacher) told me to stay focused and listen; and that helped me get a lot better at karate because I understood what he was saying.” - Marley, 9

boy cycling and smiling

Playing sports and loving every minute of it

For most kids, “because it’s fun” is a good enough reason to do something—and when it comes to sports, we could all take a page out of their book. While a major goal can be motivating, it’s good to remember that sports are really about joy, friendship, and feeling good in your body. Here are some great reasons to love sports!

They’re fun to do.” - Charlotte, 8

I have a lot of energy and it gets my energy out. And, I mean, I’m just like a sport kid so, yeah it’s fun to play.” - Max, 11

They make exercising fun and they’re a great outdoor activity. My favourite sports are soccer and basketball because they’re team activities and I love working in a team. I also like to score goals because I’m very competitive.” - Kaya, 11

“You can run, you can spin, you can move your arms, you move your feet…it’s a lot of movement and I like stretching my whole body. I like moving and doing what I want.” - Juliette, 5

I love the feeling of accomplishment that I get after doing sports.” - Greta, 16

Finally, each person has unique talents, abilities, and interests. The good news is that there are dozens (if not hundreds) of different sports out there, and everyone can find one—or many— they’re passionate about. You can love different sports for different reasons!

My two favourite sports are gymnastics and rock climbing. I like gymnastics because they have really good stuff like monkey bars and sometimes trapeze and... I really like monkey bars. I like rock climbing because it really stretches your legs, going from rock to rock, and it also stretches your arms.” Iris, 8

Feeling inspired yet? Why not try something new, or keep reading more sports advice from our experts.

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