Kinect Sports Rivals

LQ: 8.1


Brain grade: 7.5
Fun score: 8.8

Game Type: , ESRB Rating: Everyone 10+ Platform/Console: LWK Recommended Age: 8+ Thinking Skills Used: , ,

Microsoft Store

Kinect Sports Rivals is the latest entry in the popular fitness game series, which uses the Xbox One’s Kinect camera sensor to detect players movements — allowing them to control the game with their body movements. The compilation contains seven sports in all, including bowling, jet ski racing, rock climbing, soccer, target shooting, and tennis. Players compete against each other side by side or choose to tackle a single-player campaign. The game is rated E10+ by the ESRB, but due to its ease of use and lack of inappropriate content, we recommend Kinect Sports Rivals to kids as young as 8.



Adapting and adjusting to changing conditions and expectations.

13172fc8f14fd2a111067703c50284bbb594e111.jpg__1920x1080_q85_crop_upscaleThe numerous sports and activities offered by the game have players performing a wide variety of movements and actions, and each requires unique controls and strategy. Steering during jet ski races, lining up shots in bowling, timing kicks in soccer or swings in tennis and shooting with precision during target practice. Within each activity there are changes in pace, with different movements required and obstacles to maneuver around, helping kids learn to adapt to new situations and discover various ways to tackle a problem.


Getting started and then maintaining attention and effort to tasks.

img2-32749In order to learn how to control the game using the Kinect, players will need to pay close attention to the tutorial and follow along with the directions given to them by the game's "Coach." Across all sports, players will learn specific gestures and body movements that allow them to control the game, which take a level of concentration and timing to perform correctly.

Physical exercise that involves complex body movement and keen coordination also has benefits for improving the focus thinking skill. Research shows that vigorous physical activity can also help boost attention and concentration for up  to 4 hours after exercise.


Managing feelings, actions and behaviors.

Honing one’s skills in the various game modes included with Kinect Sports Rivals takes time. In order to develop the movement and coordination needed to play, players need to remain calm and motivated, taking time to learn the basics. To be successful in Kinect Sports Rivals, players will have to exert careful control over their movements. The speed, form, and direction of a gesture all contribute to the end result. Being able to replicate movements at the right time takes practice and refined motor skills. Emotional self-regulation is required, as well, particularly if a player is struggling. They need to keep cool and not get flustered or too frustrated, as doing so will only make it harder to keep up with the game and also make it unpleasant for other players involved.


Use this PlayTogether guide to learn how you can help your child turn Kinect Sports Season Two: Tennis play time into a positive learning and relationship-building experience. To learn more about why playing games with your children is so important, check out our Science of Play page!

Talk Before You Play

Take a minute to talk with your child about how the Flexibility, Focus, and Self-Control thinking skills work, and why they are important for success in school and at home.

Set Gameplay Goals

2498624-kinect-sports-rivalKinect Sports Rivals has single- and multiplayer game modes, but the best way to play with your child is to play competitively. Because Kinect Sports Rivals lets players enjoy the action simultaneously, both players can work together to meet the gameplay goals listed below.

Gameplay Goals:

  • Complete the tutorial in its entirety, and play the initial Wake Race.
  • Earn the "Seasoned Wake Racer" achievement by reaching level 10 in the sport.
  • Earn the "Seasoned Bowler" achievement by reaching level 10 in the sport.
  • Earn the "Seasoned Climber "achievement by reaching level 10 in the sport.
  • Earn the "Seasoned Shooter" achievement by reaching level 10 in the sport.
  • Earn the "Seasoned Soccer Player" achievement by reaching level 10 in the sport.
  • Earn the "Seasoned Tennis Player" achievement by reaching level 10 in the sport.

 Stop and Reflect

After you have completed the gameplay goals above, take a minute to pause the game and talk with your child about how the game is exercising your Self-Control, Focus and Flexibility skills.

  • Share your ideas on how good Flexibility skills helped you play better. How does switching between swings sports require you to adapt to new conditions and shift your approach to the game?
  • Talk to your child about some activities at home that require the ability to quickly change between actions. For example, how do you multi-task when preparing a big dinner — prepping food, sauteing vegetables, simmering a sauce or baking a roast?
  • In Kinect Sports Rivals you can focus earning difficult achievements that are more challenging, more rewarding than simply finishing levels. Try keeping your opponent from winning a single round during the game.
  • Relate this to focusing on earning the best grade possible on a reading or writing assignment, rather than simply completing the minimal requirement.
  • Talk about how Kinect Sports Rivals requires you to use careful, steady motions in order to successfully control each action. Share times when you messed up a bit, describing what you lost control of while trying to make a difficult action. Did you get flustered or frustrated? How to you work through it and "beat" that part of the game?
  • Connect the elements of Self-Control in this game to a real athletic activity. For example, shooting free-throws in basketball or timing the swing of a baseball bat. Why is controlling action, emotions and temperament important in real-world sports and competition?

Our Make it Work activities are designed to transform your child’s gameplay into real-world improvements in thinking and academic skills. If you’re just getting started with LearningWorks For Kids, we suggest you try them all to find which are the best for you and your child.

Introduce the Thinking Skills

Read over our Flexibility, Focus, and Self-Control pages, and then take some time to introduce these thinking skills to your child.

Explain That:

  • Flexibility is the thinking skill that helps us adapt to new situations, learn from mistakes and change what we are doing in order to deal with different challenges.
  • Focus is the thinking skill that helps us maintain our attention and effort, start tasks and keep working on something without getting distracted.
  • Self-Control is the thinking skill that helps us manage our feeling and behaviors, control our emotions and stop ourselves before we make a mistake.

Flexibility Activity

Play games that change tempo. One example of this is the game of Hide and Seek where the players each get alternating chances to run around and be quietly still. Games such as this, that involve taking turns and shifting the order of turns can help to build flexibility skills. These suggestions are particularly useful for children who have difficulty with transitions or who tend to have problems regulating their behavior.

Focus Activity

5ab78b92-4e1c-4717-aa8e-cbb5a94cfe5fUse competition to sustain focus. For instance, challenge your child to a race. Tell her to see whether she can fully complete a portion of her homework before you finish putting away the groceries after shopping. If your child has a competitive nature, encourage her to come up with strategies for competing against herself or others. Engage siblings, friends or other caregivers in these friendly contests.

Self-Control Activity

150aea6ae0d81f899f13fecee1bcd29f86a0269a.jpg__1920x1080_q85_crop_upscaleDelay impulsive behaviors. You can provide some easily learned strategies that will train your child to practice self-restraint. Help your child to identify situations that require self-control and encourage him to think of actions that will make it easier to remember and practice. The following are some ideas for practicing response inhibition with your child:

  • put your hands in front of your mouth to prevent interrupting
  • sit on your hands when it is not time to get up and move around yet
  • keep your hands in your pockets while in line to prevent pushing or shoving others

Kinect Sports Rivals & ADHD

imgresActive games can have numerous benefits for children with ADHD. Firstly, physical exercise that involves complex body movement and keen coordination. The motion-based gameplay found in Kinect Sports Rivals requires a fair amount of physcality, along with good concentration and focus. Players will likely not do too well at first, requiring them to practice and exert a level of commitment in order to become good at the game.

Additionally, research shows that vigorous physical activity can help boost attention for up to 4 hours after exercise. Basically, exercise boosts the production of brain fuel, which sticks around for a while even after the exercise is done. This makes exercise and active games a smart playtime activity for children, especially before tackling attention-demanding tasks, such as homework or studying.

How to Use Kinect Sports Rivals for Kids with ADHD

  • Use the game to model goal-directed persistence. At first, your child might not be very good at the game. This is because a degree of practice is required in order to internalize the game controls and learn how to react to the prompts. Setting simple goals to strive for, like “winning three matches in a row” gives your child something doable to aim for, and will let him see the payoffs of his practice sooner than later.
  • Use gameplay before homework. Exercising before starting an academic task will help your child reap the cognitive boost to focus afforded by physical activity. Studies have show that the brain benefits of working out last up to four hours, so try to schedule playtime right before study time.
  • Play together. The compilation of sports titles included in Kinect Sports Rivals is best more active when played against others, so for the most exercise we recommend playing some rounds together competitively.

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