Is your child athletic? Would she rather participate in sports than do anything else? Does she prefer to play a sport, or would she rather watch it?
The non-athletic kid is easy to identify of course. Among those that are athletically inclined though, there are athletes, and there are athletes.
Some kids are content to toss a basketball around in the backyard once in awhile, with other kids or on their own. Others are driven, and want to join a team, or two, or more.
The more casual sportsmen among the kids are not as emotionally caught up in playing the game. This means they are less likely to be upset or consumed by it.
But it also means that they may be more easily discouraged if sometimes they don't play well or they run into obstacles.
If this describes your child, she may need some help and encouragement from Mom to stay with the game.
The athletic child will not be hard to motivate. Rather, she may prove to be hard to tie down. Finding ways to say "No," or "Later," may be your biggest challenge.
Keeping up with her as you drive her to events and practices may be your workout.
For the less athletic child, though, you may need to do a little plotting and planning to keep her on the bounce.
Making sure the activity is right for her is essential. If she doesn't enjoy what she's doing, nobody is going to be very happy for very long.
Once you've found something she loves to do, the battle is half-won. But only half.
Does she want to quit when someone else plays better than her? Does she get self-conscious about spectators?
Does she lose interest part-way through a game, and need encouragement, bribery and negotiation to keep her committed to the end?
These problems are less likely to crop up when she's doing something she likes but some kids do lose interest at times, even in an activity they enjoy.
And some kids are not into team sports. If that is what you wanted for her, but it's not what she wants, it's in your best interest to let her desires win out.
In the long run, life will be easier for you that way.
Maybe she prefers something that she can do on her own, without a schedule to keep, and without team mates or opponents to make her self-conscious or anxious.
Does she like to skateboard? Get her a helmet, make sure she learns the ropes, and send her on a roll.
Does she lean towards the more solitary, quieter yoga? Once she's learned how to do the poses, and her breathing either through an instructor or a DVD, she can do yoga when and as much as she wants.
If you can help her find an activity that sparks her interest and her enjoyment, you will have done well.
Keeping Kids Active