If you have a child who has started playing youth hockey, you’re probably feeling hopeful that your little one will learn a thing or two from playing this sport. And, while you might want your kid to learn things like how to handle a hockey stick and the best strategies for scoring goals, don’t forget that the most important thing of all is for your child to learn good sportsmanship and how to be a team player. If you care about your child learning those super-valuable, lifelong lessons- and you definitely should- then follow some simple tips to help your child be a team player above all else.
Focus on Respect
To start off with, there’s a very good chance that, once your child starts playing hockey, he’s going to make some new friends on his team. After all, when your kid is spending a lot of time with other kids, all with a common interest and goal, it makes sense that they would get super connected. You should definitely encourage these friendships.
However, bear in mind that there will always be one or two kids- or maybe more- on the team who your child doesn’t like, and these kids can be super valuable when it comes to learning respect for others, ALL others, which is a necessary part of being a team player.
Teach your child that, even though he doesn’t have to like everyone on his team, he does have to respect each player, be kind to each player, and still work at the sport with that player, regardless of how he feels about him personally. Teaching your child this lesson now will help him immensely throughout his life, not just when it comes to sports, but when it comes to life in general!
Encourage Your Child
Another thing you can do to help your child become a team player is to be encouraging to him! Reward your child with kind words, no matter how he plays, and encourage him to do the same to others.
Through your own example and encouragement, you can help your child to be the person on the team who picks the others up when they’re feeling down and who, as a result, helps out the entire team and becomes an invaluable part of it.
In fact, if you can teach your child, in these ways and in general, to put others first and to always think of what will benefit the team as a whole, you can turn your child into an invaluable part of any team!