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.

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