Is your child a little athlete? Getting involved in a sports team is both fun and healthy for a child, and can teach important things like teamwork and camaraderie. If you are reading this, you probably want to support your child’s journey through team sports, and we’ll be happy to help you along with that! Here are a few tips on how to best support your kid’s growing interest in sports.
Be Positive and Encourage Positivity in your Child's Sport
Parents play a big role in their child's success on and off the field. Encouraging positivity by volunteering to help the team and not getting upset when things go wrong will enhance your child's experience by instilling confidence and trust. Children are quick to learn and absorb lessons through hearing encouragement and seeing your behaviour, which they can transfer to other areas of their life. When you take the time to celebrate wins and good plays, both small and large, it creates an environment that encourages growth through positive reinforcement.
Provide Feedback When Appropriate and Listen to Your Child's Issues
As a parent, providing feedback to your child when appropriate and actively listening to your child's issues are important. Depending on your child, they may not want to discuss their performance or the performance of their team, especially after a loss. A simple "Is there anything you want to talk about?" opens the door for conversation while giving your child the opportunity to say "no". It also communicates that their thoughts and feelings are valid and respected. Active listening helps build trust, which then creates an environment that encourages communication between the two of you. Being available to listen without judgment or criticism when they come to you with their problems will help both of you work together on better solutions, and may even reveal issues that you didn't know they were having.
Encourage a Love for the Game, Rather than Just Winning
Whether your child is a beginner or an experienced sportsman, it's important to continually encourage their love for the game above all else. Teaching your child that winning isn’t everything is one of the best lessons you can offer them:
- It helps build their confidence in the sport
- It encourages them to focus on skill development instead of the final result
- It encourages them to have fun!
Engaging with them about their sport at the level that they're comfortable with can help strengthen positive feelings, whether it be through watching professional games, helping them practice, or giving them gifts related to their sport. But most of all, remind them that whatever happens, you are proud of their efforts no matter what the outcome may be.
Don't Push Your Child Toward a Single Sport
Encouraging your child to get involved in sports is a great way to keep them active and help them grow into healthy teenagers and adults. However, it can be easy to get caught up in the idea of having the next superstar athlete, pushing them too hard toward your sport of choice. It’s important to remember that your child is their own person, and they may be more interested in an activity that you aren't expecting. Rather than forcing a single sport on your child that they may not even enjoy, why not try out a few? By exposing your child to multiple sports you can learn more about their individual talents, allowing them to foster their unique strengths while also keeping them healthy and athletic. Letting children figure out what activities they enjoy is key to developing an active lifestyle and making sure they associate a healthy, athletic activity with fun.
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If you follow these four tips, you can help your child enjoy their sport while still encouraging them to be the best that they can be. While it's important to be positive and provide feedback, it's also crucial to encourage a love for the game rather than just winning. And finally, don't push your child toward one single sport - let them try different ones until they find the one that suits them best. Visit our products for gift ideas for your sports-loving child!