As a dad, it’s easy to get excited when you find out that your kid is starting to get more and more into a sport. Who doesn’t want their kid to be active, driven, and maybe even a bit competitive? However, being a good dad to a sporting kid isn’t as easy as you would imagine it. Too many get their priorities wrong. They think it’s about ego and excellence. What it should be about is developing a good person as well as a good athlete. Here’s how you do that.
Why You Should Get Them Into Sports
There are some parents who, believe it or not, aren’t fond of the idea of their child getting into sports. There are stigmas that their grades will suffer if they’re not focusing on school, or that their values will change in ways they don’t like. However, there are several key benefits to getting them into sports. For one, it teaches them self-discipline. It won’t be a false discipline enforced by a fear of consequences. Instead, they learn self-control because they know it leads to better results. They find role models in sportspeople who show the kind of dedication and drive you want your kids to learn. They start life as an active young person, making it easier for them to keep to an active lifestyle. There are plenty of benefits of helping your kid get into their love of sports.
Help Them Practice The Best They Can
As a parent, you have a huge influence over how much practice your kid can get. You hold the purse-strings, you have a large influence over where they can and cannot go. If your kid wants to excel, then you should be helping them. If they’re into football, take them out to the park and play catch with them. If they’re into boxing, then go running with them and help them find a good gym. If they’re into baseball, check out batting cages like www.thebaseballdiamond.com/improve-baseball-hitting-home-batting-cages/. Help them get the training they need, perhaps even by taking part in it, yourself.
Get Them Eating Right Early
Training and fitness are only one part of helping their physical condition. If you want them to really help them, then you have to start helping their diet as well. Make sure they’re eating regular meals with all the nutritional quality they need. Then help them fight off temptation by fighting it off yourself. Don’t try to teach them the value of avoiding fatty, sugary snacks while still indulging in them yourself. Clear the cupboards of temptation and make it a team effort. Plan healthy meals with them, but go further than dictating to them. Get them involved in choosing meals and even learning the nutritional value of them. By educating them, you make it a lot easier for them to keep in control of their own diet.
Any sportsperson will tell you that confidence has a huge impact on how they do in their field. Inspiring confidence in the field begins with teaching them self-esteem outside of it. Helping them live a healthy life will help with teaching self-worth. But you can go beyond that. Don’t compare them to other members of the team. Focus on them as an individual and what they can provide overall. Allow for mistakes, while taking them as teaching opportunities. Make sure that their self-worth isn’t defined only by the sports they play. Don’t pressure them to practice too much, allow for other social interactions and other hobbies. Trying to pigeonhole them into only one interest will soon cause them to start hating it and their involvement in it.
Lessons In Teamwork
Helping them build individual self-esteem is important. But so is teaching them the importance of teamwork. They need to have respect out there for the people depending on them and the people they depend on. Even in solo sports like boxing or wrestling, they have training partners and coaches who are a big part of their results. Teach them to be a team player. Teach them to take responsibility for their mistakes, not to pass them off on the rest of them. Make sure they see the value that others provide to them and the team overall. Sites like www.healthline.com/health/teaching-your-child-be-team-player have even more examples of lessons. Use them to help them learn about being an even better team player.
Making Little Leaders
If your child is proving to excel, then that sense of teamwork needs to go even further. All too often, the particularly talented kids are treated like ‘stars’ by parents and even coaches. This can be to the detriment of the whole team as well as your child. Building arrogance young isn’t going to help them in later life. Instead, you can take that momentum and put it to good use. You can help them become leaders, instead. Expanding on those lessons of teamwork, help them set goals not only for themselves but for their teammates. Help them see the benefit and joy of helping someone else reach their goals, not just their own.
Helping Them Up After They Fall Down
Of course, we’re not assuming that your child is going to be a superstar. Even if they are, they are likely to suffer some knocks on their way up. How children cope with failure comes down a lot to the people around them. They can be under a lot of pressure to excel and feel the full weight of it if they lose. You have to help them understand that losing is all a part of the game and their growth. It’s not the end of the world. It’s okay for them to be disappointed in their performance. But there’s always another game tomorrow and an opportunity to keep learning and getting better. Don’t let your kid grow up to be a sore loser.
Your little sports star has the potential to learn a lot of lessons from sports, even if they don’t ‘make it’. Become the dad and the coach they need to get everything they can from it.
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