Parenting an Athlete

Posted on Categories Parents

Sports are a wonderful activity for children that provide a variety of benefits other than just physical exercise. Sport participation can help children build confidence, motivation and also help with their social skills.  Sports also help children learn to respect authority, rules, teammates and opponents.

Physical activity is the most obvious benefit of sports. Whether it be a team sport or individual sport, getting your child’s heartrate up is very important especially these days with all the technology such as iPads. Find a sport your child likes, there is something for everyone; basketball, track, tennis, volleyball, horseback riding. Check out some more age appropriate sports here.

So what can we do as parents to encourage our children to play sports and build confidence? We have researched and complied a quick easy list to follow when guiding your athlete.

  • Teach your child that winning means a lot more than a trophy.
  • Teach your child the gift of failure: To have a happy, confident and successful child, teach them how to fail! Teach your child how to view setbacks, faults and risk-taking positively and they will achieve the key to a lifetime of success. Failure is the perfect stepping stone to success.
  • Support by being visible at their events as much as possible. We understand it is hard with work and school schedules, but if one parent or guardian can attend often it will have a huge impact on your child’s performance and confidence.
  • Help your child set realistic goals. Make small goals and talk about them with your children. Sometimes just getting their uniform on and showing up is a big step!
  • Provide positive momentum by celebrating successes. Did your child score a goal? Listen to the coach? Depending on their age come up with something to celebrate their success.
  • Cheer for the whole team, not just your child. This will teach your child excellent sportsmanship!
  • Be supportive and don’t coach! Your role as the parent is to support, not coach. You need to be your child’s best fan. Leave the coaching and instruction up to the coach.

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