Participation in many team sports has been put on hold due to the pandemic. However, there is still a wide variety of sports that kids can safely participate in while social distancing, such as cross country, tennis, or golf. If your child chooses to participate in a sport, it is only natural to want them to succeed. However, placing too much pressure on them to improve their athletic abilities could turn them away from sports and the many benefits that participating in them can provide. For effective tips on how to help your child succeed in sports without discouraging them, continue reading.
Show Your Support
Showing support for your child is one of the best ways to help them achieve athletic success. When they inevitably feel discouraged after a tough practice or upset about the outcome of a competition, your support can give them the encouragement they need to continue. There are many ways to show support for your little athlete such as going to their games, taking them out for a treat after a competition, or simply telling them that you are proud of them.
It is important to note that there is a big difference between being supportive of your child and putting too much pressure on them. Rather than screaming at them from the stands in a way that sounds angry or threatening, keep your comments and tone encouraging.
Encourage Growth Rather than Perfection
Another effective way to help your child succeed in sports is to place more of a focus on growth rather than perfection. By putting pressure on your child to always perform perfectly or win every game, they may become discouraged any time they make a mistake or don’t come in first.
However, placing an emphasis on growth teaches your child not to give up and will help them maintain their confidence even if they don’t come out on top every time. For example, rather than congratulating them for winning or berating them for losing, focus on something that they improved on such as how they worked well with their team or how much effort they put in. A growth mindset ultimately shows them that there is still value in the effort and hard work that they put into training even if they don’t win.
Teach them the Value of Hard Work
Natural talent will only get you so far in the world of athletics. There are countless naturally talented young athletes who end up wasting their potential because they don’t feel the need to work hard. As such, even if your child is naturally good at a sport, it is important to teach them the value of hard work if they are going to be successful long-term.
Some examples of how to encourage hard work include not letting them skip practice whenever they don’t feel like going (unless they have a good reason like being sick, of course), teaching them how to create objectives and plans to achieve their goals, and acting as a positive role model by demonstrating hard work yourself. Doing so will help teach your child to work hard and avoid giving up when things get tough—a key skill in being successful in sports.