Want to get your kid off the couch and into a sport? Here's an idea you probably haven't tried: buy them a video game. Well, not just any video game. A sports video game.
Oh come on, stop rolling your eyes! Even science agrees that playing sports video games can totally improve your kid's skill on the field.
The first step -- of course -- is getting them there. Which isn't always the easiest. Trust me. Klutz over here. I hated competitive sports. I understand why some kids look at their parents like they have two heads when they suggest soccer camp.
But when a French business school looked at people who play a video game with a sports theme, 75 percent were going out and playing something for real. Almost 40 percent were even playing that exact game (so if there are baseball sign-ups coming up fast, you know what part of the game store to hit!).
Of course, then you have to keep them there. Good news on the video game angle again. Those games give clueless kids an edge on the rules of a sport ... because they're used to a gadget correcting them when they violate one.
And it doesn't hurt that people who play action-based video and computer games are quicker on their feet at making good decisions than their peers. The speed of video game play can actually train the brain to get in gear ... which can only be a good thing when there is a lineman headed straight for your newly minted football player.
How have video games improved your little gamer's play on the field (or court or diamond)?
Image by Jeanne Sager