By now most us know how good sports are for kids by keeping them fit, develop skills make friends and learn to manage emotional highs and lows. As parents we can help our kids be a good at sports by being a good role model and encouraging a positive attitude and showing interest. Focusing on effort, fun, and participation rather than on winning and losing.
Sports also teaches our kids all about how important it is to always try their best even if it does not mean winning. Your kid might do a great job of running and kicking the ball, but the team might still lose the match. It is all about how you and your child see the experience.
Your kid’s effort is the only thing that is completely within his control, if your kid gets to the end of a game trying his best, he has been successful.
Always bear in mind that you are your kid’s role model. Should you be watching a match together, it will help to be aware of your comments, you can encourage a positive sporting attitude by cheering on your team for all their efforts no matter if they are winning or losing. By abusing the coach, team, or anyone else for a loss can send a negative message to your kids.
When your kids come home after playing a match, ask whether they had fun rather than asking whether they won or lost, focus on enjoyment, participation, effort and being a good sport. Kids loves to please their parents, make them proud and gain approval, as a parent you can send your kid a powerful message of what makes you proud.
Going to a sports events with your kid, your behaviour has a big influence on your kid, whether it is positive or negative depends on how you behave, sound, take part and speak on the side-lines. Even if your kid is not performing well on that day, think how your kid might feel if you should shout something like “how could you miss that” or even “Can’t you run any faster?” Compare these feeling to how your kid might feel if you say, “Great shot, – better luck next time”.
Your body language and tone have a big influence on your kid, if they think you are angry with him/her for missing a shot it can take the fun out of the sport, effect their self-esteem and make them feel that they are not good at sports.
Try looking and sounding like you are feeling positive and have loads of fun, this will help your kid feel the same way. When it comes to the end of the match you can even tell your kid how much fun you had watching him/her or their team playing.
Once your child is part of a sports program, remember that you are an important model for your child. Find ways to stay positive during competition, discuss any concerns you might have about coaching style, teammate behaviour or other teams in other teams in private with the coach.
Parents want mostly for their kids to have fun and be successful at the sport they choose, but the key to them enjoying their experiences in sports lie in your hands, by helping them choose the right sport and being a good role model for commitment and sportsmanship.