5 Things You Should Never Ask of Your Child
It’s well understood that youth sports is a team effort. But teams aren’t limited to just the players and coach. Parents have a lot to offer their young athletes no matter how much experience they have. A team works best when it has reasonable expectations and can work together to solve problems. One way to help the team work together is to avoid the following five questions that parents sometimes ask of their child:
1. Don’t ask your child to play on a team without friends. Being around friends is an important part of youth sports. Kids routinely make their sports decisions based on where their friends are playing. The more friends a child has on a team, the more likely they will give their all. Alternatively, if a child has little to no friends on a team, the parent can help by hosting or sponsoring a team party to enable their child to get to know the other players better.
2. Don’t ask your child to play the same sport year round. Just as kids need to play different positions to develop their mental understanding of the game, they also need to play multiple sports to develop their overall physical capabilities. Encouraging a variety of sports over different seasons keeps things interesting for your child and helps them develop physically to their fullest potential.
3. Don’t ask your child to feel grateful for taking them to practice. Youth sports works best when it’s a family effort rather than just a child effort. Practice and game times are opportunities to share as well as opportunities for play. Watching and supporting practice is just as valuable to a child as watching and supporting a game. It should be mutually rewarding for parents and children, without guilt trips.
4. Don’t ask your child to exercise if you won’t. A healthy lifestyle involves regular physical exercise, no matter what your age. Kids in sports (especially older kids) often need to exercise away from practice to develop stamina, quickness, and strength. If parents want to encourage exercise, the best way is to set an example and do it yourself.
5. Don’t ask your child to understand the game if you don’t. Young athletes just getting started in a sport often get discouraged early because they don’t have a clear understanding of their role. Parents can do wonders by helping their children understand the basics of the game and working with them on drills. There are numerous books in every sport designed to educate new players and spectators. Parents should utilize these resources to improve the chances for success in youth sports.
Just like adults, kids desire time with their friends, seek a variety of experiences, appreciate the interest of others, like sharing difficult tasks and want someone to share conversation. Parents and kids have more in common than they think, but have different ways of expressing it. By coming together as a team, parents and children can improve the experience for everyone.
Editor’s Note: Special thanks to Sports Esteem for the above article.
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