The competitive nature of athletic activities can make it an intense process when your child first looks to get involved in sports. Fortunately, there are many ways you can help make his or her experience a good one. By embracing a few key values, you can help your child find success and win big at being a sports parent.
Help Them Build Character
There’s more to becoming a successful athlete than winning games. Help support your child when it comes to building character by enforcing positive values and knowing when to back off. Understand that your child is growing as both an athlete and an individual through his or her experiences both on and off the field. There are many options that provide children with the opportunity to be independent from their parents while still building skills relevant to their sports of choice, such as a junior tennis academy or a youth sport camp.
Encourage Having Fun
Help your child embrace the fun to be had in sports instead of just focusing on winning. Acknowledge the difference between practice and casual play by encouraging your child to have fun in the way he or she sees fit when engaging in unstructured play. Support your child if he or she shows interest in a different sport as well. Allow room for experimentation and respond positively to your kid trying out different athletic opportunities or methods outside of formal practice.
Give Positive Reinforcement
Give your child plenty of positive reinforcement both on and off the field. Focus on your child’s successes and point them out enthusiastically. Make sure to carry this mindset into the stands when you attend your child’s games. Provide a good role model and a healthy, fun environment for your young athlete by cheering during games and focusing on being positive. Help teach your child good values by demonstrating a respectful view of other teams, other athletes and sports officials.
Keep Your Ears Open
Encourage your child to communicate with you about how he or she feels about sports (and everything else). Take time to truly hear what your child is trying to say. Make sure you communicate with your child as well and speak to him or her about the importance of various values such as good sportsmanship, respect and strong motivation.
There are many ways to help your child athlete succeed both in sports and life. Encourage your child’s growth by being a winning parent who remembers the importance of building character and having fun.