Sports can be exhilarating and heartbreaking. Few things are more glorious than winning and more agonizing than losing, especially when the stakes are high. As your child grows up, experiencing both is almost certain - and sometimes, necessary. As the saying goes: “You win some, you lose some”. Although you may feel the urge to protect your children from the pain of losing, they need to be able to go through loss in order to get better.
     Difficult as it is to watch your child lose, your job isn’t to force winning at all costs, but to provide support and motivation no matter what happens. Be there when it matters and give them some extra help where they need it.
1. Encourage Them With Healthy Competition
One of the best ways to improve at a sport is to play against people who are better and more experienced. Although it can be heartbreaking to watch your child go against bigger, stronger opponents, this ultimately drives them to do better in the future.
That said, it is important to always keep competition healthy. Once the desire to win overtakes fair play, that’s already taking competition too far.
Looking for an added boost? Rally the team with custom made socks from Strideline. Creating team unity, both visual and emotional, can do wonders for your little athlete’s esteem.
2. Understand What Motivates Them
Each child ticks differently. Some respond to tough love and others to gentle prodding. Whatever the case may be, understanding your child is key to helping their development. Knowing what motivates your child allows you to give them the support they need, where they need it.
3. Reward Them For Milestones
Each milestone should be rewarded with a celebration. It doesn’t have to be an elaborate party or an expensive gift; something simple is enough. Rewards are more than just the things you give, they’re symbols of your support and assurance. That first home run or championship trophy? Cherish it. If your kids feel that their achievements matter, they’ll be more motivated to succeed.
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4. Help Them Visualize Their Goals
Studies show that visualization can boost performance and aid in skills development. Encourage your children to set goals and to visualize them. Whether it’s scoring a goal or winning the MVP or simply staying in shape, goals can help keep your kids on the right track. Plus, they’ll be more conscious of their improvement and development.
Not sure if visualization works? Sporting greats like Michael Phelps and Tiger Woods swear by it.
5. Be Their Number 1 Fan
Nothing lifts up a child more than a healthy support system. Your children need to be reassured of your support in every step of the way. Show them that their sport is just as important to you as it is to them by attending games, participating in their development, and simply being there when they most need it, especially when they lose.
As a parent, it is your responsibility to be present as your child grows up. Cheer them on, give them nuggets of wisdom, help them get the coaching and training they need. The more present you are, the more your children will be motivated to do well. Just don’t be the parent who complains to the coaches and heckles the referees.
Getting your children to commit to sports helps them develop into well-rounded and healthy individuals. To make sure they stay on their path, you, as a parent, need to provide the motivation and support they need.


05/30/2017 5:31am

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