Did you know that, even when your kid isn’t saying a word, he is sending messages loud and clear? Kids, especially young hockey athletes, are very physical, and paying attention to their body language can tell you a lot about their attitude, how they’re feeling, and various other factors.
In fact, not only should you pay attention to your child’s body language, but you should also make him aware of it and suggest areas in which body language could be improved and could send a better message.
Send Out “Confidence Cues”
It’s pretty easy to tell, from just a quick glance, whether someone is confident or not. People who stand straight and tall, who have a little bounce in their step, and who look you in the eye are people who are confident and secure.
Confident people are more well-liked by others than non-confident people, and, when it comes to the ice of a hockey rink, confident-looking players can be intimidating in all the right ways.
Explain to your child the benefit of looking confident, even when he doesn’t necessarily feel it. Encourage him to never hang his head, to always keep his shoulders back and his chest out, and to keep a look of determination and intensity on his face no matter what happens. This will send a powerful message to his opponents.
Plus, research shows that body language can actually affect how a person feels.So, even if your child is “faking it,” standing strong and proud can help him to feel more confident and to play better as a result.
Parents, the Rules Apply to You Too!
While teaching your child these truths about body language is definitely a good thing, remember that you can probably stand to learn a few things yourself.
Think, for example, about your body language when your child loses a game or makes a bad play. Do you cross your arms, lower your head, or allow those frown lines on your forehead to pop out? If so, you could be sending out a message of disappointment to your young player, which is the last thing you want to do.
Even if you say all the right things, kids are great at reading visual cues, so, when something bad happens on the ice, stand tall, smile, hug your child, and maintain overall “cheery” body language.
It will make your little one feel better. Plus, you’ll be setting a good example of positive body language for your child.
Remember, a person’s body is always sending out some kind of message; control the message it sends by following these tips.