I have always been of the opinion that kids need to be involved in something (sports, clubs, dance, whatever). It just seems to make them more well rounded and keeps them out of trouble. The SD that I raised and the DD and SD that I'm currently raising all did sports and have never had problems out of them (other than normal teen stuff). My other SD that I raised I couldn't get to do anything. She'd try and quit. She ended up staying with her mom over the summer at 16 and coming back home pregnant. She has struggled her whole life.
Now, it might have been that that's just her, and not all kids need to be involved. So now I'm dealing with my DS, who's 14, he's done soccer since he was 5. Last year he broke his foot during a game, and once healed, the next game he sprained his wrist. He wanted to try something different, so he's doing track. This is the third week of practice and he wants to quit. He loves computers and is so smart. He's shy and not social. He comes home and plays (remotely with his friends) on xbox and computer as much as I will allow. He makes good grades, he has gone to some basketball and football games, and he got student of the month last month.
So what do you moms think? I don't want him to go down a bad path. I don't want him to end up a kid that just stays locked up in his room playing video games all day. He says he'll try soccer next year, but I'm afraid he'll try that and decide not to do it either, or he'll be so out of shape for soccer that he won't make the team. BTW, I haven't paid any money for track yet, so that's not an issue.
Although I'm a big fan of sports, that isn't the ONLY extracurricular activity. I had one daughter that was president of the french club. My youngest is president of JSA (Junior States of America) - a political group. She's also involved with a youth council for a local congressman, and with tech theatre (lighting and sound). There are lots of other things - what about a robotics club, or something else like that that interests HIM?
I'm going to have to suggest the drama club thing. He might like golf too, and they have a golf team. I love him to death but he's such a nerd...he can do just about anything with a computer, and wants to learn how to build games, he tried robotics but he didn't like it. They don't have anything for computers at our school or even in our town.
Get a list of the clubs at school. Sit down with him, and see if any interest him.
If he is interested in something, and his school does not have a club for it, he can always start one. He should talk to his friends to see if there is an interest, and then talk to the school administration.
What about local youth groups? Church, Scouting, 4-H?
Swimming is a great way to stay in shape.
Volunteer time at a hospital, food bank, pet shelter, before/after school program, etc.
Instead of filling your kid's time with a lot of outside activities, consider doing things WITH them.
Take a fun class.
Go riding - bike/horse.
See a play.
Go to programs put on by local organization/agencies.
Sign the whole family up to do volunteer service together.
Join the YMCA.