The success of your child’s participation in sports depends not just on practice, technique, and having the right gear. Parental support and guidance is also going to be key for them to get the most out of their youth sports experience. Here are seven ways you can be there for your child in their sports endeavors:
7. Be A Supportive Parent—Not A Coach
Most likely, your child will have a coach in charge of their sports activity, with all the requisite skills and knowledge to lead them through the game. So in some ways, you could say that the coach does a lot of the “heavy lifting.” With that out of the way, you can focus on giving your child all the emotional support he or she needs to enjoy and get the most out of the game.
6. Build Their Self-Esteem
Maintaining his or her self-esteem is going to be vital for a child to get the most out of the sport of their choice. You can help greatly by not only by keeping their spirits up, but maintaining communication with your child regarding their experiences in training, on the field or court, and among their teammates.
5. Encourage a Healthy Competitive Attitude
Of course the immediate goal in playing a sports game or match is to win, but the value of the activity is a lot more than that. Stress to your child the importance of maintaining a healthy attitude about winning and losing, to respect sportsmanship, and to understand that ultimately, they are competing against themselves.
4. Maintain A Positive Environment
Sometimes, youth sports can get a little bit rough. Whether it’s kids fighting during the game—or parents doing the same from the bleachers. That’s why it’s key to help keep a positive environment around your child’s participation in the sport. If something seems amiss off the field, address it with the coach. And avoid confrontations with other parents.
3. Ensure That Your Child Is Healthy
This is another one that seems like a no-brainer, but it bears repeating. In order for your child to perform at their optimal level during a game, they need to eat the right food, get enough rest, and all-around take care of themselves physically. As a parent, you are in the best position—even more so than the coach—to make sure this all happens.
2. Stress The Importance Of Safety
Teaching your child the importance of following the game rules and safety protocols, and wearing the required equipment, is a must. Certainly, their coach will be doing so as well, but you can never have too much precaution when it comes to your child and preventing sports injuries. Run through a safety and gear checklist with him or her.
1. Make Sure It’s Fun
Sports isn’t all about just having fun. But if your child doesn’t seem to be having any—and their activity seems like just a chore or worse to them—you need to recognize and address that. Express to them that their enjoyment and happiness is what’s most important to you about them participating in sports, and that you’re in their court all the way!
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