Whether you had a childhood love of sports that your kids are picking up or you simply want to see them succeed and grow in all that they do, it’s easy for parents to get emotionally involved in their kids’ teams and competitions. Parents have an important role in helping their child do the best they can, too. You just need to know the right ways to empower them:
If you want your child to feel your support, then actually get involved in supporting the team. There’s usually a whole troop of parents helping with the organization and administration of school sports teams, from arranging trips to helping design uniforms. Volunteer your time, show up early to practice, and attend every game. If you’re net savvy, you can even offer to run a social media page for the team or, otherwise, share their posts and contribute feedback. Let your child feel the support for the whole team, not just the pressure on themselves.
Talk About It:
Knowing how your child actually feels about the sport and their own performance is just as important. It’s not uncommon for parents to fall into the trap of encouraging a child to succeed in a sport that they might not necessarily be into. Ask your child how they feel about practice, the team, and the responsibilities that come with a sport. Give them somewhere safe to vent their frustrations and share their concerns. Look at Active for Life for ideas on topics to broach if they’re having trouble opening up. Even if they love the game, they could use someone to talk to if they have suffered a loss or a roadblock during practice.
Invest If They’re Invested:
Mental attitude and physical training aren’t all that can influence a game. If your child is serious about their sport, it helps if you are, too. Not just by supporting them, but by investing in the gear that can help them succeed. If they’re a goalkeeper, browse Renegade GK for more information on how the right gloves can improve their game. If they’re a member of a youth baseball league, make sure you’re looking for the best regulation bats on the market. The right equipment doesn’t just make changes to how they play the game. It’s an effective way of showing your support and belief in your child.
Don’t Push Too Hard:
Know when to step back and take a breath. When a member of the team makes a mistake or when a referee misses a call, it can be easy to feel your cool being tested. But by pushing too hard, you might only end up embarrassing your child and even prompting them to lose their love of the game. Support them, but don’t try and be their advocate every second during practice and matches. Talk to the coach if you have some thoughts, but don’t push and put too much pressure on them.
Being a sports parent is all about knowing your boundaries and knowing what you can do within them. Support, advise, and help, but be aware that you’re not the coach, the referee, or the player. Try to always keep things positive and constructive, and watch your athlete succeed.
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