Parents who encourage and support their kids to engage in sports are likely to have extreme and unrealistic expectations. It is good to encourage your kids to be active. Nevertheless, you should let their talents come out naturally. It is equally good to let the young ones do what makes them happy, but encourage them to work hard and discover their talents on their own.
The message that you pass to your kids will help them find something that they are passionate about. In the process, they will find a way of developing their own talents through dedication, desire, and self-determination. They may not reach the heights that you expect them to, but nonetheless, supporting your kids in sports will give them the foundation for early life experiences and choices.
You can keep your kids active and engaged in sports while still encouraging them to pursue other life choices, including academic excellence. It is advisable that you avoid the expectation game so that you support the young ones in a constructive and positive way without burdening them. Many parents end up ruining their kids’ chances of succeeding in sports by setting expectations that exceed the young ones’ abilities. Here are 5 strategies that can go a long way in helping you support your kid in sports.
1. Define Fundamental Family Values
Each family has its own unique set of values and traditions. You should define these values to your kids from a young age so that they understand how sports reflect on your general family values.
Keep in mind that family values ought to be adhered to even when engaging in various sporting activities. Values such as integrity, resilience, kindness, empathy, commitment, and teamwork ought to be reinforced early in life, since these will help the kids succeed in sports.
2. Encourage Happiness
You should facilitate your child’s quest to find happiness even as they engage in sports. Make it known to them that success lies in how they perform rather than in the outcome of a single game. By simply concentrating on the process itself, they will avoid setting untenable goals. When they endeavor to pursue excellence rather than perfection, kids will derive more happiness from sports.
3. Instill Confidence
Confidence is derived from self-belief. This isn’t about being cocky, but instead, it entails having belief in one’s ability. A sportsperson can be confident and still display humility. Confidence is learnt as the young ones acquire new skills. You can instill confidence in your kids by simply letting them know that you believe in them even before they internalize an inherent sense of confidence.
4. Encourage Passion and Competitiveness
It goes without saying that one cannot succeed in sports without a competitive mindset and passion. Goals and plans can only be realized if they are backed by desire. In this regard, you should embrace and encourage the spirit of passion among your kids. Likewise, make it know to them why it is important to have a competitive and positive mindset. To realize this, sit down with your kids and set short-term and long-term goals that are realistic.
Let them set their own competitiveness, which is basically the passion and desire to obtain something. To help them grown even more confident, guide them through the process of discovering what they really want in life.
In case your kids cannot find their passion and desire to succeed in sports, they won’t have the ability to set goals that help them succeed. Encourage them to pursue other hobbies, like art or writing. Don’t simply cover the Christmas tree in sporting goods this year. Instead, add goodies that relate to other hobbies; maybe a gift card to Hobby Lobby or Hobbytown (Top tip: You can save money on these by waiting until December to buy them).
5. Nurture a Positive Family Culture
One of the most pertinent strategies for supporting your kids in sports is cultivating a positive family culture. Remind them that being competitive isn’t just about winning in games. It is about confidence and passion. Make it known to them that competitiveness is a deep-seated desire inside them, the spark that nurtures creativity, persistence, artistry, and zeal to improve.
A healthy and competitive perspective is that inherent confidence and passion to excel, exceed, grow, and achieve even more. It is the in-built drive that makes them stronger, more confident, and better team players. As a parent, you obviously want your kids to be not only good at what they do but to bring out the best and be happy in the process. Cultivating a positive family culture is one of the ways to achieve this.
You should, as well, talk to your kids about what is right on the sports field. This will not only help them adhere to the rules of the game but also be responsible team players. Besides this, they will be team players who can exercise their on-field and off-field responsibilities besides understanding their freedoms and limits therein. They will similarly learn how to set expectations for themselves not only in sports but also other aspects of their life.