So, your kids have reached the age when they are starting to get interested in sports. Congratulations, this can be a fantastic time for you as a parent. You can cheer them on at their games, show pride as they compete in tournaments or maybe even find a new way to interact with them. Parents of teens will know that it can sometimes be quite difficult to find a way to communicate and engage with them when they are at this age. You might even get the chance to coach them! But, before we get into the fun and joy you can have with kids who love sports, let’s deal with one of the early problems that you might encounter at this stage.
Help! My kid Hates Sports
First of all, it’s important to realize that there is absolutely nothing wrong with a child not wanting to participate in sports. It’s certainly not for everyone, and some people just aren’t athletically gifted. They might have two left feet or lack the hand-eye coordination that you need to excel in sports. Don’t worry, chances are that your child will excel at something else from art to drama to debating. There will always be something that you can cheer them on for and say ‘that’s my boy’ or girl.
That said, before you accept this possibility, there are a few others to consider. You might find that while your kid does love sports and wishes they could compete, they don’t have the skill for it. But skill in sports is something that can be learned through training and even cognitive development. Did you know that video games can improve hand eye coordination? It’s true!
Alternatively, there is also the chance that maybe they just haven’t found the right sport for them. You can typically help a child choose a great sport that they will enjoy based on their body and build. The classic example would be basketball. Tall kids should excel here although there are various basketball players under average height who have proved everyone wrong so you shouldn’t look at build as a set guideline of what sports kids can and can’t try.
The important thing is to encourage them to give it ago. If they don’t like it or enjoy it, that’s okay. However, some kids don’t realize they love sports until they are out there on the field.
“It’s Okay Mom It’s Just A Scratch”
Picture the scene. Your child has come home from a game, and there’s a large, gaping wound across their forehead. Actually, it’s not a gaping wound but rather a graze however it will always seem worse than it actually is to a parent. Your first reaction after seeing an injury might be to try and wrap your kid up in cotton wool but before you do that, there are a few things to remember.
First, accidents do happen but that doesn’t mean that your child is in danger participating in sports. Almost every sports have guidelines and rules in place that ensure kids don’t intentionally hurt members of the opposing team or opponents. Take wrestling as an example. Recently, new guidelines were introduced to limit the number of moves that could be used to inflict pain on other opponents during a match. While accidents occur, they are never the goal, and they are taken very seriously. You might think that a sport is dangerous but so is crossing the road and you have to let your kid live their life.
The other fact to remember here is that getting hurt in a sports environment actually teaches kids important life skills. It teaches them to be tough and endure when faced with adversity. Both skills will serve them well later in life, and the tough, competitive attitude that sports players often build is one of the reasons why colleges seek them out and offer scholarships to champion players.
Have You Got Your Kit?
The right kid is important for a variety of reasons for kids playing sports. There is the safety aspect to consider. Kids wearing the right kit in contact sports are less likely to get hurt or suffer serious injuries. But there is also other issues to consider. A kid who isn’t wearing the same kit as the rest of the team could be singled out and this can even lead to issues with bullying. We know what you’re thinking. Official sports kits can be expensive but these baseball pants from The Baseball Diamond aren’t, and you can find similar products for budget prices that your kid can wear with pride.
Of course, sometimes, you’ll find that it’s your kid who doesn’t want to wear the right kit. Perhaps they want to stand out, or maybe they just want to make a statement. There are a whole variety of reasons why your child might not tell you the actual kit they need for sports, so make sure you are up to date with what kit your child should be wearing.
It’s Only A Game
While being competitive is often a bonus in sports, it’s also important to make sure your child is aware that it’s only a game. It’s not the end of the world if they lose or if their team doesn’t come out at the top of the tournament.
Studies have shown that children feel an enormous pressure to succeed and do well in school and this stretches beyond achievement through their coursework or exams. It goes deeper and often means that they feel the need to win at sports and make sure that their team comes out on top. Some high school games are held in such high esteem that they are broadcast and receive newspaper articles. A win can be a local source of pride but losing? That’s when your kid can start to feel the pressure, and you have to watch out for this kind of stress.
At times like this, you have to remind them that a win doesn’t define who they are and neither does a loss.
Guys, You’re Embarrassing Me
We all want to show our support and our pride when our children compete in sports tournaments or matches. As we said, this is one of the best parts of the time when your child decides they are ready to dip their toe in the pond of sports. However, you have to stay in control of yourself here. You don’t want to be in the position where you’re drawing attention away from your kid’s big moment or worse causing them embarrassment. Some kids are better at handling things like this than others. If your kid is quite shy, it’s best to just cheer as a part of the rest of the group of parents. That means shouting ‘that’s my boy’ or coming up with your own unique cheering chants should probably be avoided. Of course, sometimes it’s impossible not to shout at the top of your lungs when your kid scores the point that wins the game. Don’t worry, at times like this you can let loose, and all eyes will always be on the match, not the proud cheering mom or dad.
Attending Events, Matches And Tournaments
Of course, on the opposite end of the scale, there’s missing the match or tournament altogether. As a parent, you will probably want to attend every one of your kid’s games. That’s understandable, but it’s also not always possible. You might have work deadlines, business trips and other important commitments that contend with your desire to see your kid compete. How do you handle situations like this? Well, it’s important to explain to your child if you’re going to miss a match and why. They need to know if you’re not going to be there. Don’t let them find out from scanning the crowds in the stands for your face.
As well as this, you need to make sure you know which matches and tournaments are going to be particularly important to your kid. Which ones matter the most? Obviously, final matches in a tournament are going to be important and end games of a season. Any game away might also be worth make sure you’re there to attend or games that have tie to your child’s future. For instance, if scouters from colleges are going to be at a game, word does often get around in advance, and you should make sure you’re there too.
By using your time wisely, you can make sure that you don’t miss any key sports events in your child’s life.
We hope you see now that while there are problems and challenges that you’re going to have to deal with related to sports and your kid, there are solutions. You don’t have to panic over injuries, there are ways to get them the right kit, and you can make sure you don’t miss any key events. All in all, you’ll want to make the most of this time and enjoy it. It’s a chance where you can share something your child loves and take pride in their various achievements.