This upcoming season may be yet another notch in the belt of a child’s sporting journey, or it may be the landmark occasion where they take to a sport for the very first time. Either way as a parent or coach (or parent-coach) you need to be prepared for it. By being prepared before the season starts, both you and your child will not only survive, but thrive over the coming months.
Whether this is your first sport season or you are several seasons in, here are our top tips to make it enjoyable for both parties.
Provide inspiration for effort and improvement
There are going to be times when things aren’t going to go the way you expected. A mistake in a game or a lost game can be difficult things for a child to deal with. They’ll focus on the result and flow on outcomes and may struggle to reframe these moments to help them improve. What does this look like? The child may be frustrated with themselves, their team mates, or with the sport overall.
Praising them for the improvements they have made and encouraging the amount of effort they put in are great ways to provide coping skills to the child. Remind them that in order to grow, they will need to make mistakes, so they can learn from them. Let them know there is always another chance to give it their all in the next game. Be their chief motivator!
Don’t hide the reason you’re there
Keep this in mind and don’t be afraid to say it – you’re there to watch your child play sport purely because you love watching them play.
Telling them that you love watching them play after each game gives them reassurance that the effort they’re putting in isn’t going unnoticed. Simple things like this can help build connections between adult and child as it gives them a sense of belonging and will give them the encouragement to do it all again next week.
‘Empower’, rather than be the power
Take a step back at some point, you might be surprised how well a child adapts to having control over what they do next and push the boundaries on what they can do or achieve.
If this is a child’s first season it might be hard to take a step back while they are getting to grips with the basics of the game, but luckily, they are surrounded by great teachers and their peers. They’ll learn just as much from watching and playing with them as they would from coaching and being told what to do.
Keep it fun
The number one reason children play sport is to have fun!
Winning and being the best is what some children may need to have fun, but a lot of kids don’t see it that way. Things like running around with team mates, kicking the ball as hard as they can or sliding around in the mud is a lot more fun to them than getting the win.
Be prepared for the upcoming sports season. It’s a journey for both adult and child and by working together, we guarantee it will be a successful one, regardless of what the scoreboard says.
Here at Good Sports we wish every kids sports team out there the best for the upcoming season!