Sports are a great activity for kids. Sports improve not only physical coordination, but also mental concentration and focus. We want our kids to do well and have fun, too. Sometimes negativity creeps in. Maybe the team doesn’t win many games, or maybe there are kids that get too competitive. There are many ways that you can help keep your child positive.
Make sure the whole focus is not only in winning. Winning is great, but don’t let your child get caught up in the pressure. Stress the importance of the effort and teamwork of the group. Make sure your child knows that the effort and doing your best are more important than the score. Your child should be having fun.
Help the coach by teaching your child the basics. Practice with them and play some casual games at home. Your child needs to feel comfortable with the fundamentals, and then reacting will come more naturally. Being more confident will help kids have a positive attitude.
Join a club or team that lets all the kids play. Sure, there may be one or two kids with great skills, but you want to foster a positive environment and teamwork. Ask around and talk to other parents before signing your kids up for that team. You want a sport/team where your child will have fun, but still learn and be challenged.
You can help your child be positive by just being there and watching. Don’t rehash the game on the way home. All kids want to hear is that you love to watch them. Tell them that! Every child wants their parents to be there and watch them play.
Watch out for signs that your child might be burned out. Let your kids take a break if they need one. Encourage them, but don’t push them to play all year round if they ask to stop for a while. They will appreciate it and probably will go back to a sport if it is something they love.
So often do I see parents who are not encouraging their children, but rather asking them why they made so many mistakes. I see kids trying to hold their tears back. I see kids being pushed too far.
And to that, I encourage both parents and kids to read this.
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