20 Steps to Making Sports Positive for Your Child
Making sports positive for your child is not a one-time decision. It is actually a series of steps you must take every day, every week, every season.
It’s said that a journey of 1,000 miles begins with one step.
One. Step. At. A. Time.
- Purpose to show love to your child no matter how he performs.
- Be the parent, not the coach. Especially on the way to the game.
- Always encourage your child to have fun.
- Cheer for every player on the team.
- Take off the rose colored glasses. Be realistic about your child’s abilities.
- Look for ways to help the team and encourage the coach.
- Let your child develop his own path, not force him to follow yours.
- Acknowledge your child’s strengths, not comparing him to other players or siblings.
- Thank the people who make it happen: volunteers, refs, coaches.
- Refrain from distracting your child from the sidelines or bleachers with instructions on how to play.
- Learn the skillful art of biting your tongue; filter your words.
- Accept responsibility for your own negative emotions; don’t blame the coach, ref, other team.
- Remember that sometimes all your child needs is a hug or pat on the back.
- Be sure you and your child have a life outside of sports.
- Let your child learn how to push himself.
- Don’t fall into common youth sports traps: spending a fortune and only seeking “elite” teams.
- Keep winning in perspective; everyone wants to win, but don’t lose character in the process.
- Give your child space when he needs it: after practice, games, or when frustrated.
- Remember that most of the stuff you want to worry about today won’t even matter in a few years, or even next season.
- Focus on the end game: who do you want your child to be after he’s done playing sports?
Read this list over every now and then. Try focusing on one step per day or week. Share it with your child’s team. If we all purpose together to move forward one step at a time, we can make a difference!