Athletics and sports are very important in a child’s physical, mental and social growth. Sports can be considered a foundation of positive, social and team building values. As parents it is our duty to encourage and fully support them in this field. Although a child has its own way of tackling things, there are certain unwritten rules for parents to follow in order to make their child’s transition into sports easier.
- Allow your child the desire and interest to play any sport of their choice. This is crucial as a kid will not like to be enrolled into a sport they do not wish to play. A parent has to be a child’s pillar of support in any and all cases. Provide them with all possible opportunities and guiding advice but firmly support their choice, no matter what it is. If a child chooses not to delve into sports, a parent needs to understand, advice and support them.
- A young athlete’s relationship with his or her coach is pivotal. Teaching your child to respect his coach and all other elders is very basic but important. Every child sometime or the other will disagree with the coach but still has to respect the coach and his decisions because the coach is a trained professional and wants to get the best out of each child.
- One of the most crucial things in a young child’s life is proper feedback. A child is bound to make mistakes and falter at several occasions, but instead of criticising them or blaming them, a parent must let the child learn from his own mistakes. This doesn’t mean to ignore a mistake, but to make them understand how they could’ve avoided it.
- A parent must encourage and acknowledge a young athletes’ achievements and progress. A sense of accomplishment and general high motivation and morale can prove to be extremely helpful in keeping a young mind focused.
- At a young age, sports is all about learning and enjoying with your friends. Let a child have fun in games and let him have his mental freedom. A parent shouldn’t try to relive their own dreams and aspirations through their child. There is no point in pressurising a young kid as they are completely different people with different dreams, aspirations and goals. A parent should be a calming and supporting influence in the lives of their kids.
- Never let your child blame external factors for his or her defeat or for underperformance. A child may blame several things like the weather, the coach, his teammates, equipment, etc. but a parent should teach the athlete to stand up and face the result. Instead of blaming anything, a child must be taught to analyse the result and think of things he could improve on or have done differently. Only then will a young athlete build character and actually improve on-field and off-field.
- Sports and skills in sports are all about the process. It is a ladder which a child climbs solely on the basis of his effort to improve his skill. Never expect perfection or an extraordinary performance from your child right from the get-go. It takes years of training and development, with proper coaching guidance, with proper equipment and most importantly with the proper mindset to reach the heights one desires. Let the child make his mistakes and learn slowly with full understanding.
There is a lot of things that sports teaches a young child. But for an athlete to progress and perform at a higher level, it takes efforts from all the major figures in his life – parents, coaches, teammates and friends. A certain relationship needs to be established and nurtured with all these important people. Happiness and peace of mind is crucial in the development of a young athlete and maintain these relationships is pivotal.