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If you want your child to develop a passion for sports, one of the best things you can do is find a good sports club. Sports clubs are the ideal place to develop their skills in sports, as well as essential social skills.

A good sports club will give your child the space to develop, offer encouragement and allow them to explore their interests

Unfortunately, not all sports clubs are created equal. So many sports clubs fail because they don’t put the children first. At the end of the day, if children don’t have a fun and engaging experience, they won’t want to continue playing sports. If you’re on the lookout for a new sports club for your child, make sure you bear the following in mind:

Quality equipment and facilities

A sports club that only has old and broken equipment clearly isn’t investing in their business. This is not only unpleasant for your child, but it can also be dangerous if something breaks while they are using it.

When I was 7, I started playing with a club. The only grass on the field was in the corner. There was no grass in the middle! It was just sand

— Ronaldinho - Former Professional Footballer

Look for a sports club that takes good care of its equipment and encourages the children to do the same. This is a sign that everyone is respectful of their surroundings and the coaches are interested in creating a nurturing environment.

Coaches who understand children

While equipment might be important, a sports club is nothing without the coaches. Most importantly, you need to find a sports club with coaches who really understand children. A lot of people will go into coaching children because they think it will be easy, but this couldn’t be further from the case. While some people might have a natural affinity for this line of work, others will fail to grasp how to work best with children. Coaching children is hard work, and your coaches should be interested in encouraging your child to have a lifelong passion for sports. Not all children will want to take their sporting pursuits to a professional level, but a good sports coach should still push them to the best of their ability regardless.

Focus on the bigger picture

As we all know, when it comes to health and fitness, exercise is only one part of the equation. Good nutrition is the foundation of any healthy lifestyle. A good sports club will help your child to understand that the choices they make at meal times will have an impact on their short and long-term sporting goals. When it comes to children, nutrition is essential if they are going to be able to keep active. Even young children benefit from understanding the difference between snacking on a chocolate bar or a piece of fruit. It’s not about turning children into calorie counting picky eaters, but instead giving them the tools and knowledge they need to make an educated choice. A good sports club will encourage children to make good choices long after their practice has ended, and this will hopefully stick with them for life.

Flexibility and choice

Your child will never know how good they are at new sports, unless they have a chance to try them out in a safe and encouraging environment. This kind of flexibility will also be essential for busy parents. If a sports club only offers a particular sports lesson one night a week, this can cause problems if other commitments get in the way. To keep everyone happy, finding a flexible sports coaching facility will not only give your child the chance to try new things but it will also ensure that your child can always find the time to train.

Parting advice: beware of recommendations

One of the easiest ways to find a quality sports coaching facility for your child is to ask for recommendations. Other parents will often dish out plenty of advice on where to try and where to avoid. The only problem with this is that all children are different. What works for one child might not work for another and you might find yourself avoiding places because another child had a bad experience that has nothing to do with the coaching standards or the facilities. Always trust your own judgement on sports clubs or you and your child could end up missing out.