It can be a challenge to get teens interested in taking on new opportunities, especially when it involves physical activity. As a parent, you may feel frustrated because you want your teen to stay active and explore different forms of play. Fear not - with the right strategies in place, you can support and motivate your teen as they navigate the world of sports! In this blog post, we will provide key insights into how parents can foster enthusiasm for their teen to take an interest in participating in athletics – no matter what form or shape it comes in. Through exploring both emotional and tangible approaches surrounding motivation, we hope to equip parents with all the tools necessary so that every child has equal access to experience physical activity in its many forms.

Understand why your teen wants to try a new sport

Being a parent, it is vital to learn why your teen wants to take on a new sport. Establish an open dialogue and encourage communication. Express interest by asking questions such as what inspired them to try this new activity, what challenges them about the sport, or how they view themselves as an athlete. By positively engaging with your teen and validating their ambitions, you will promote trust and understanding of their motivations. Showing empathy, listening intently and addressing any worries or concerns can demonstrate that you have invested in their decision to start something new.

Being supportive of their efforts demonstrates that you value their enthusiasm while also helping them step out of their comfort zone. Acknowledge how hard it can be to learn something unfamiliar and provide positive reinforcement when needed; eventually these actions can help boost motivation levels during trying times. Click here to learn more on why it is important for your teen to try a new sport.

Find a balance between pushing and encouraging

Every parent wants to see their child succeed, particularly in the field of sports. However, the delicate balance between pushing and encouraging can be difficult to achieve. To help your teen develop a newfound enthusiasm for activity, strive to provide them with the right tools and environment to help them take on new challenges. At the same time, know when it’s time to step back and let your teen take the lead: give them space and autonomy as they figure out how best to approach sports practice and foster their own sense of self-determination. This way, you both can feel good about investing your energy into making this effort a success.

Discuss the potential benefits of their involvement in sports

Encouraging your teen to take on a new sport can be richly rewarding as it offers many potential benefits. Not only does regular physical activity help keep their body fit and healthy, but it also provides them with a great opportunity to make new friends and increase self-esteem. Through sports, teens learn the value of teamwork, communication, and hard work – all life skills that will help them succeed in the future. Moreover, by consistently playing the same sport they develop important motor skills while satisfying competitive urges often found within adolescent years. Finally, participating in a sport increases confidence and discipline as they hone their abilities through practice and dedication while supporting each other to succeed both individually and collectively. Check out Child Development Institute to learn more on the benefits of joining a sport.

Focus on the fun aspects of the sport rather than perfectionism

Sports can be a great way to engage teens in positive activities, teach them discipline and teamwork, and have fun at the same time. However, when it comes to getting teens interested in taking on a new sport, focusing too much on perfectionism can easily backfire. To effectively motivate your teen to try something new, emphasize the joy of being part of a team that is unified by the enjoyment of an activity. Remind them that everyone will make mistakes and there's no such thing as perfect – encourage them to stick with it, laugh at their own blunders, and take pride in their accomplishments no matter how small or large. With this perspective in mind, any potential stress or resistance may melt away due to your teen’s newfound enthusiasm for exploring the world of sports! To learn more on how to combat perfectionism in your teen click here.

Celebrate their successes, no matter how small or insignificant

When it comes to motivating your teen to take on a new sport, it's important to celebrate their successes, no matter how small or insignificant. Acknowledge their hard work and determination - even if they still don't meet their personal goals. It takes courage and fortitude to learn something new and challenging, so make sure you let them know that you're proud of their efforts. Remind your teen that Rome wasn't built in a day; every successful professional athlete was once a beginner too! No matter how slow the progress may seem, keep applauding them for making strides forward – even the smallest ones count!

Make sure that your teen has all of the necessary equipment or resources

To support your teen’s success in a new sport, it is important to have all of the necessary equipment and resources. For example, good quality clothing or protective gear, proper shoes, and access to facilities that provide the space for practice or matches. Having necessary resources may also require some financial support from you as a parent, but this should be weighed against the potential rewards that come with taking on the challenge of a new sport. Emotional support is also key; if your teen has any doubts, be there to motivate them and give words of encouragement. Showing that you believe they can succeed with their goals will help them stay focused when faced with challenges throughout the process.


It’s important to support and encourage your teen when they express interest in a new sport. Show that you are interested in their passions and give them the opportunity to explore it. Make sure that participating in the sport is enjoyable rather than stressful, help your teen obtain necessary equipment needed, celebrate even small and insignificant wins, and discuss potential benefits of involvement such as physical health, social connections, and increased confidence. Furthermore, teaching our children how to stay motivated through sports can have a lasting impact on their lives. Taking part in team sports also helps foster positive relationships and teaches valuable life lessons. To further understand how to motivate your teen to take on a new sport and for other resources about health and fitness for kids, join YFN academy today!


Middle Earth. "How to Combat Perfectionism in Teens." Middle Earth, 2019,

Myers, Pamela. "Why Sports are Great for Teens and How to Get Started." Child Development Institute, 21 Apr. 2011,

TeamSnap. “5 Reasons Your Young Athlete Should Try New Sports.” TeamSnap Blog, 14 Jan. 2016,