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4 Reasons Why Every Child Should Try Multiple Sports 

7 min read

Getting your child active through sports can provide a myriad of positive effects on both their physical and mental well-being, but how do you discover what activities are best suited to your child?   

The secret to getting them to love movement is to introduce children at a young age to a variety of sports, so they can discover what resonates and makes them eager to get back to class every week. Trying different kids’ sports can also bring about holistic development. 

In the future, your child may fall in love with one particular sport, such as gymnastics (you may end up with an Olympic gymnast on your hands!) or they may adore different activities for the rest of their lives, which is an absolute winner.  

So, let’s dive into the benefits of multiple sports for children… they say variety is the spice of life for a reason! 

4 Reasons Why Every Child Should Try Multiple Sports 

Reason #1: The physical benefits of multiple sports 

Getting children to engage in sports at an early age can have a positive lifelong effect on their health. With only one in four boys and one in five girls in England doing the recommended 60 minutes of activity each day (ukactive), sedentary lifestyles are a huge worry and can have detrimental effects on children’s health.  

Engaging in different sports will expose your child to a variety of movement patterns, skills and physical challenges that will keep them on their toes and keep their attention. 

Another bonus of diversifying their sports experiences is that children can enhance their overall athleticism, with different sports providing skills that could in turn help other activities! For example, a gymnastics class will give the flexibility and strength to traverse a ninja parkour obstacle course, and a children’s dance class will improve memory skills through learned choreography that could also feed into elements of gymnastics, such as floor routines. 

Potentially, by having your child focus on one activity, they may run the risk of overuse injuries associated with specializing too early in one sport (source). Many sports require repetitive motions or strain on specific muscle groups, which can lead to stress fractures, tendonitis, or other injuries if not balanced with proper rest and cross-training. 

Keep variety in their schedules and they’ll work different parts of their bodies, minimizing the risk of injury. 

Reason 2: The psychological benefits of children trying a wide variety of sports 

Child sports participation needs to be fun. We need to avoid the child getting bored, feeling stressed or getting burnt out from focusing on a single sport…. or you could end up with a child who shies away from physical activity completely. But how do we ensure that they remain engaged in their sports classes? 

Well, as previously mentioned, variety is the spice of life! This is something we practice at Gymfinity Kids by offering gymnastics, ninja and dance classes, so children can try different activities and stay excited every time they step foot in our activity clubs

By exploring various sports, children can discover their interests and strengths while maintaining a sense of novelty and excitement. Diversifying the approach to staying active increases the likelihood of finding activities they enjoy and can continue to pursue into adulthood, promoting lifelong health and well-being (source). 

In turn, they will experience different challenges that build psychological resilience, which is incredibly useful in other areas of life. 

Reason 3: The social benefits of child sports participation  

Sports can help build a strong foundation for a child’s social skills. Participating in multiple sports provides children with opportunities to interact with diverse groups of peers and coaches that can help them regularly practice various skills that can help them in life! 

Through teamwork, communication, and sportsmanship, they learn invaluable social skills that extend beyond the field or court. In team sports, children must collaborate, support each other, and navigate conflicts, fostering resilience and empathy.  

Moreover, exposure to different coaching styles and team dynamics helps them adapt to various interpersonal situations, preparing them for success in school, work, and community settings. 

Reason 4: The cognitive and educational benefits of sports for children 

When children try a mixture of different sports regularly, children constantly face new scenarios that stimulate their cognitive development. 

Each sport will present its own set of challenges that require problem-solving, decision-making, and adaptability. It will keep the child continuously learning. Whether strategizing during a basketball game, analyzing opponents in tennis, or adjusting tactics in parkour, they hone their critical thinking skills and learn to stay composed under pressure. Overcoming setbacks and failures in sports teaches them resilience and perseverance – valuable traits that translate into other areas of life. 

Children will also reap rewards in the form of various educational benefits. Studies have shown that children who participated in high levels of sports brought about non-cognitive skills (mental toughness and self-efficacy) and well-being (social identity, belonging, life satisfaction, and happiness) –

Improved focus and attention, enhanced memory and learning, and consistent sleep routines (essential for optimal learning) have been noted in children who participate in various activities. 

Considerations for parents and coaches: How to navigate introducing children to multiple sports

Introducing children to multiple sports must be a considered approach to ensure the child doesn’t get overwhelmed. Here are 6 top tips on how parents and coaches can introduce children to different sports. 

  1. Allow children to explore different sports and activities to discover their interests and strengths. Offer a variety of options, including team sports, individual sports, and recreational activities, and observe their preferences and enthusiasm. 
  1. Encourage a mindset of versatility rather than specialisation, especially at a young age when children are still developing physically and mentally. 
  1. Create a positive and supportive environment where children feel comfortable exploring their interests and developing their skills at their own pace. 
  1. Lead by example by maintaining a healthy and active lifestyle yourself. Engage in physical activities with your child, whether it’s playing catch in the backyard or going for a bike ride. 
  1. Help children develop a sense of ownership and autonomy in choosing their activities and support them in pursuing their passions as they grow older. 
  1. Offer encouragement and praise for their efforts and improvements and be patient as they navigate the ups and downs of learning new sports. 

Case Study: Chlo in Cambridge 

We spoke to member, Ann Bentley, on her daughter’s time at Gymfinity Kids in Cambridge, and it is heartwarming to hear how Chlo has discovered her capabilities through participating in all the different activities Gymfinity Kids has to offer.  

Chlo has autism, struggles with change and can get very anxious, but she has excelled beyond what anyone could have expected by trying different sports. She now participates in gymnastics, ninja and dance classes at our Cambridge club and has developed into a confident child who adores her classes – read all about her journey here!  


From improving overall athleticism to seeing positive impacts on social and cognitive development, which can in turn help them at school, the benefits of children trying their hand out at multiple sports are impressive. 

Giving your child the opportunity to discover their strengths and interests can help them find activities they love that will promote life-long health and make movement a habit, rather than a chore! The key is to ensure that children feel supported and encouraged in positive environments so they can thrive in their chosen sports. 

Here at Gymfinity Kids, we offer activities that are designed to get your child active, but above all, have the utmost fun! Our classes provide more than just physical benefits, they help them embrace different sports and fall in love with staying active. 

Book a free taster class today! 

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