Post-Game To Do List

  • Get their attention by starting with a couple positive comments. Pick out 2 areas you can complement your child on and make them positive.
  • Ask your child what 2 thing they thought they did well at. No matter how well or poorly your child played, discuss these first.
  • Be mindful of your behavior that could be subtle but your child could pick up on. Ex: If you usually show excitement or enthusiasm (for good play) or withdraw your attention or be silent (after a bad performance)
  • Numbers, scores or performance – avoid dwelling on them! Only discuss stats if necessary to make a point.
  • Avoid discussing the game at home, instead help your child change gears into other roles in life. Leave sports on the playing field! Only go over the plays if your child asks.
  • Developing balance in life rather that being 24/7 sports.

 

Pre-Game To Do List

  • Be positive before a game and don’t point out mistakes or losses. Help your child feel confident about the game they’re about to play and say things like ‘have fun’ and ‘I know you’ll do your best’!
  • Coaching belongs to the coach, so show that you support the coach’s decisions. If you are talking about how you ‘disagree’ with their decisions, this will only undermine your child’s confidence and trust.
  • Keep your emotions in check. If you show that you are jittery, nervous or worried your child will likely be affected by these feelings.
  • Be a good fan and composed on the sidelines. Be only positive and supportive. Support the team by bringing water or snacks or serving as scorekeeper if the team needs a parent.
  • Don’t focus too much on mechanics and technique’s, allow your child to trust in their abilities. Tell them to ‘Go for it’ and ‘Have a Blast’!

 

 

Sports, Kids & Self-Esteem

There has been a lot of attention around violence and inappropriate behavior with organized sports. Even though kids and sports go hand in hand, as parents it’s important to teach our kids how to develop a ‘love for the game’ and to deal appropriately with the highs and lows that can come with it.

Self-criticism is very common with athletic children and it can intensify in the the teen years. Many kids link their self-esteem with their performance, if they perform badly, their self-esteem suffers. Helping your child separate their self-worth from achievements in sports will help deal with the problem.

When asked how to cultivate resilience on the sports field – Cohn, a youth sports psychologist in Orlando and founder of www.youthsportspsychology.com  says ‘perfectionists have a difficult time with making mistakes, you need to help kids manage their high expectations about performance and to react better to mistakes.’

As there is no role model more powerful than a parent we can teach our kids by example and how to be a real athlete on and off the field . Show your kids how to stay positive, calm, neutral and how to leave the game on the field. Focus on how much fun it is to play just for the ‘love of the game’ and not so much on always having to ‘win’.  Help your child keep their sense of self-worth separate from their performance.

Get involved with your kids and teach them a sport that they will enjoy and that you can play together. Most importantly teach your children by being a good example so that they will learn the tools of sportsmanship now and when they are older.