Is your little athlete struggling with learning a new sports skill? Or maybe he or she is having a hard time with a recent loss. Perhaps your child suffers from low self-esteem in general. Whatever the case may be, there is one important fact for you to know and understand: encouragement goes a long way, especially when it comes from someone the child looks up to (like you!). Below, you’ll find some easy ways to encourage the budding sports star in your life and to spur him or her on to success.
Praise, Don’t Correct
We all want our children to be the best that they can be. When it comes to sports, we often think that we can improve their game by offering up advice or even well-intentioned critiques. However, as difficult as it may be, it’s better if you refrain from these types of remark, no matter how much you think they might help. Children should get their criticisms and advice from their coaches. From you, the parent, offer nothing but love, support, and a “great job” every once in a while.
Celebrate Every Victory
Most parents are more than happy to take their kids out for pizza or ice cream after they win the big game. However, if you only do this after a win, you’re actually sending a disparaging message: you are only deserving when you win. Instead of rewarding winning alone, reward every small victory and celebrate your child at every opportunity. For example, even if the game is lost but your child makes a great score or gets to play for longer that usual, praise and reward him or her. Not only will you encourage your child but you’ll be teaching him that winning isn’t the penultimate goal and that there are intrinsic benefits to be gained just by participating in a sport.
It might sound simple but don’t underestimate the value and importance of cheering (and cheering loud!) at every game and, when allowed, at every practice too. Cheer for your child to show your support, and, as an added bonus, cheer for others to teach good sportsmanship and to show your team morale. You’re guaranteed to be the coolest mom or dad around, and you’ll make your little one feel great, which is really all that matters.