Buddy, who’s 8 started rugby back in September and has loved it ever since he started. To go to the training you have to join the rugby club, but it’s a membership fee that you pay once a year and there are no monthly fees. The older ones, from P4 do tackle, but for the younger ones, at this stage it is just touch rugby. We have struggled to get Bubbles to go along so I’ve noted my top tips on how we introduced him to rugby in the hope that this helps others.
Bubbles has not been so sure, we have taken him along to all of the training sessions and tried to get him to join in, but he has refused, that is until we went back in January after the break at Christmas. So what’s different and how did we help him to overcome the anxiety he was feeling about going:
- Try to get to the bottom as to why they say they don’t want to go – We spoke to Bubbles and tried to understand what it was that was the issue – It’s turns out, he didn’t realise it was touch and was worried about getting hurt – We had been watching the P4s and Buddy has had a few moments where he has got hurt – Not badly, but Bubbles has picked up on this. So we have tried to allay his fears – We got him to watch what would be his team, so he could see that they were just training and it was touch!
- Introduce them to their team mates – I think the one single thing that really helped Bubbles on the day when he joined in was that another Mum saw that I was still struggling to convince him to come along and spoke to her son and reminded him how he felt on his first day and he came and asked Bubbles if he would like to join in as his partner – Bubbles was off like a shot, he suddenly felt included – I nearly cried! Why had I not thought of this sooner!
- Don’t force them – Recently we have seen a change in our activities and one thing I have realised is that if you send your child to an activity that they really don’t want to do, they can be disruptive to others.
- Make them look the part – We went along to Decathlon and kitted Bubbles out with his rugby gear – this and his branded jumper have made him feel part of the team – We ordered his jumper after his first training session cause he came away from it so excited.
- Consistency – This is the thing that both my boys need is the consistency of going along to their sessions – sometimes I feel too tired to take them or can’t be bothered going out in the cold to stand beside a pitch and watch them play, but this is something that they are loving and I want them to continue.
Look at the picture at the top of this post – The training and game was cancelled this weekend due to the weather, but Bubbles still got up, dressed in his full kit and even managed to coerce our rugby-loving next door neighbour to help him to train for a while in the snow and ice.
I hope this will help others who are struggling to get their child to head along to something new – I think the biggest thing for me was the little boy who made my son feel included 🙂