Throughout our lives we have all been around that ‘crazy’ sports parent. They are known to put way too much pressure on their child and way too much emphasis on winning. Perhaps, they are just trying to relive their unfulfilled sports dreams through their children, or they just want the best for their kids and don’t realize their actions are in fact doing the opposite. Regardless of the reasons, this tends to push kids away from sports rather than keeping them engaged and active. So lets vow not to be that ‘crazy’ sports parent but instead be supportive one! Here are some of the best ways to support your child in sport.
- Take A Step Back
Remember that they are just kids! Millions of kids participate in sports and only a very small percentage actually ends up making it to the professional level. Be realistic about the expectations of your child and don’t lose sight of what is important – having fun. After all, that should be the one of main reasons why your child is playing sports.
- Promote Happiness
The focus should always be on fun, and as a parent, you should be one that helps facilitate that fun and happiness. By creating a positive feeling towards sport, your child will enjoy it more and be better able to actualize their full potential as athletes. Too much pressure and too much emphasis on winning can weigh on a child and lead to stress and anxiety. At the end of the day, the biggest reasons kids drop out of sports is because they are longer having fun.
- Inspire Confidence
There is a huge difference between confident and cocky. Confidence derives from the ability to have faith and believe in one’s self. You can help achieve this by letting them know that you believe in your child and instill confidence by giving them consistent and positive reinforcement. Even when things don’t go your child’s way, phrases like “better luck next time”, “nice try” and “great effort” are helpful in these situations and can do wonders for your child’s confidence.
- Encourage, Don’t Push
Once again, try to avoid putting extra pressure or setting high expectations for your child, and emphasize that success should be based on their performance and not the outcome of the game. Positive reinforcement is always the best form of encouragement. Don’t criticize or yell at your child and let them make mistakes, as doing so is part of learning. Instead, continue to offer feedback in a positive way and support your child whether they win or lose.
- Be There
Ultimately, the best way to support your child in sport is to actually be there for them. Show up to games and practices, express an interest in their sport, and cheer them on in a loving way. This will not only show your support help your child enjoy and benefit more from the sport, but it can also create lifelong memories and an everlasting bond between you and your son or daughter.
By- Zack Millington