There are some kids out there who are just naturally athletic. You know the ones, they start sports young, they pick it up quick, they get good, and they often continue on in some regard with that for the rest of their lives. They tend to be agile, with quick reflexes and awesome hand-eye-foot coordination. If it is physical, they excel at it.
Then there are the rest of the world. Those who can get along well in one or two chosen sports, having to put in more time and effort, but ultimately finding enjoyment in them. And those who decidedly do NOT do well in team sports. They lack the agility, the coordination, the stamina, or just the drive to compete within a team.
Sports are like everything in this world, they are not for everyone and not everyone found a happy niche in them growing up. Some kids WOULD love to participate but have trouble fitting into a team, or want the physical aspect without the competition driven mindset. Others just need more time to learn the moves, the drills. Need more time to practice and perfect their form, and a team that’s heading on up won’t wait for them.
Sometimes, kids need something that encourages them to excel, to continue to improve, to put in that extra effort when something is hard, but doesn’t make them feel like they’ve failed simply because it takes them longer than the other kids.
Individual activities then, can help. But at the same time, you want your child to be able to get that interaction with other children, and the sense of being part of group, without being tied quite so tightly to the group’s progress as a whole.
This is where martial arts is a wonderful thing. In addition to the usual benefits people speak of when talking about martial arts; discipline, respect, focus, there’s also some less obvious benefits.
Martial arts is unique in that you do not have to be of a specific, athletic type to participate. It allows the children to train together like a group sport, but advance, improve, and achieve goals on their own as well. There is less of the pressure to keep up with the rest, and more of an opportunity to find their own strengths and focus on honing them. It allows them time to find the areas they struggle with and put in the time necessary to fix what needs fixing. In short, it allows them to grow as an individual within the group.