Sometimes, children feel that they don't like sports because they may not understand how to play them or they haven't had much practice doing them. Sports can seem complicated because of all the rules and special equipment. Even the fields and tracks they are played on can have confusing-looking lines drawn on them. Athletics is a great way to have fun and stay active. Children have lots of choices about which activity to do and whether to compete in sports or just play them for fun. One child might be happy to jump whereas another child may prefer being on a track competing against other athletes.

You are one of a kind; therefore, no one can really predict to what heights you might soar. Even you might not know until you spread your wings!.

Competition can make sports more exciting. But because somebody wins and somebody loses, competition can also make children feel pressure. A little pressure can be OK. Too much pressure is bad news

What Is Competition?
There are different kinds of competition in sports. You may compete by yourself, as part of a team, or both. For instance, a runner or a jumper or a thrower might compete individually, but can also contribute to the team score. 
What all sports competitions have in common is that all of the competitors want to win. But usually only one person does.

Why Do I Feel Pressure?
Do you ever have "butterflies" in your stomach? It's that nervous feeling some people get when starting a new school, taking a first airplane ride, or gearing up for your first athletic completion. In sports, almost everyone worries about playing well and doesn't want to make a mistake. Believe it or not, the best athletes and the teenagers who compete in competition get nervous before a big event. Even professional sportspeople feel nervous! Feeling a little excited or nervous is OK, though. This helps your body and mind get ready to compete. Your body makes adrenaline (say: uh-dre-nul-in), which is a hormone that gives you extra energy. Every major event in our lives we feel nervous - first day at a new school; school exams; our wedding day; before an important football match; at the start of a big race - Our nervous state helps us remember all of these times. If we don't feel nervous before a big event then we are not really ready for it. But if you're getting so nervous that you aren't having much fun, it's time to figure out why.

What Can I Do to Ease Pressure?
When you're competing in sports, you need a lot of energy. One secret to having lots of energy is to get plenty of Sleep Be sure to get to bed on time or even a little early the night before a big event. And don't forget to eat well on game day. One way to chase the butterflies away is by being ready to play. Try to attend all of your clubs training sessions. By practicing, you'll improve your playing skills In some ways, playing a sport is like learning a part in a school play or how to play the piano — the more prepared you are, the better you'll feel and the more fun you'll have. Try to find a way to relax right before the event. You might take a few slow, deep breaths or do some gentle stretches to warm up your body. Most clubs have a group warm up before heading onto the field. Let any tension you feel melt into the excitement of the first play.

Time for a Change?
If these steps don't help, and you feel sick or sad about your sport more than you feel happy, you should talk with your parents or coach. Too much pressure can come from your coach, your parents, your club mates, or even from yourself. If your coach or parents are making you nervous, talk to them about what would make you feel more confident during practice and games.

A grownup also may be able to help you cope with pressure you're putting on yourself. Some children want to be experts at a sport, right from the start. But becoming skilled at a sport often takes a lot of work over many seasons.
If the pressure is too much, it's OK to decide that you want to take a break from sports competition. You might decide to return to the Sport next season. Or you might keep doing your sport, but without competing.

A Bad Sports Experience
Sometimes, children on a team get so fired up about winning that they may yell or get upset at a player who makes a mistake. This can be stressful - especially if it's you who made a mistake!
But everybody makes mistakes sometimes and no one should tease you for it. If they do, it's a good idea to talk with the coach or your mom or dad. Sometimes children need to be reminded about been understanding and respectful to each other.Parents and coaches also can get upset about a game situation and put too much pressure on children. Children might feel confused and stressed out during competition if they're not quite sure what they should be doing. But competing also can be a great experience. Children get to improve their skills and feel that club spirit as they work together toward a common goal. 

The Right Sport
There are dozens of activities in athletics, so you might not have found the one for you yet. Lots of children try running and jumping. But what if your best sport is going to be throwing? You'll have to try it and find out. Some children are naturally graceful. Others are strong. And still others have great aim. Different sports require different skills, so you'll want to try different activates to find one that suits you. Some activities you might not think of as sports, but they are great for staying active.

Eat Strong
What should you eat if you want strong muscles? There's no one magical food that helps build muscles. Your muscles - and your entire body - will be strong and healthy if you eat a variety of nutritious food.

Should You Pump Iron?
Some children want to lift weights so they can look bigger and stronger. But lifting weights won't produce big muscles in children who haven't gone through puberty yet, and lifting heavy weights can be dangerous to childrens’ muscles and tendons.Push-ups, sit-ups, and chin-ups also help build strong muscles. But so can plain old running, jumping, and throwing. Get the message? More play time means stronger muscles. Now that's something to get pumped up about! There's a lot of discussion these days about fit children. People who care (parents, doctors, teachers, and others) want to know how to help children be more fit.

Being fit is a way of saying a person eats well, gets a lot of physical activity exercise and has a healthy weight. If you're fit, your body works well, feels good, and can do all the things you want to do, like run around with your friends. Some steps only parents can take — such as serving healthy meals or deciding to take the family on a nature hike. But children can take charge, too, when it comes to health.

Here are five rules to live by, if you're a child who wants to be fit. The trick is to follow these rules most of the time, knowing that some days (like your birthday) might call for cake and ice cream.

1. Eat a variety of foods, especially fruits and vegetables. You may have a favourite food, but the best choice is to eat a variety. If you eat different foods, you're more likely to get the nutrients your body needs. Taste new foods and old ones you haven't tried for a while. Some foods, such as green veggies, are more pleasing the older you get. Aim for at least five servings of fruits and vegetables a day — two fruits and three vegetables. 

2. Drink water and milk most often. When you're really thirsty, cold water is the No. 1 thirst-quencher. And there's a reason your school cafeteria offers cartons of milk. Children need calcium to grow strong bones, and milk is a great source of this mineral. How much do children need? Aim for 3 cups of milk per day, or its equivalent. You can mix it up by having milk and some other calcium-rich dairy foods. You probably will want something other than milk or water once in a while, so it's OK to have 100% juice, too. But try to limit sugary drinks, like sodas, juice cocktails, and fruit punches. They contain a lot of added sugar. Sugar just adds calories, not important nutrients.

3. Listen to your body. What does it feel like to be full? When you're eating, notice how your body feels and when your stomach feels comfortably full. Sometimes, people eat too much because they don't notice when they need to stop eating. Eating too much can make you feel uncomfortable and, over a period of time, can lead to unhealthy weight gain.

4. Limit screen time. What's screen time? It's the amount of time you spend watching TV or DVDs, playing video games (console systems or handheld games), and using the computer. The more time you spend on these sitting-down activities, the less time available for active stuff, like running, jumping and throwing. Try to spend no more than 2 hours a day on screen time, not counting computer use related to school.

5. Be active. One job you have as a child — and it's a fun one — is that you get to figure out which activities you like best. Not everyone loves running and jumping Ask your parents to help you do your favourite activities regularly. 

Speaking of parents, they can be a big help if you want to be a fit child. For instance, they can stock the house with healthy foods and plan physical activities for the family. Tell your parents about these five steps you want to take and maybe you can teach them a thing or two. If you're a fit child, why shouldn't you have a fit mom and a fit dad?

Interested in having fun, Getting fit, Making new friends and traveling to new places? Then Athletics is the Sport for you.