Help Your Kids Succeed at Sports

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Participating in sports  has so many advantages for kids, including building teamwork, honing fine motor skills and helping them to stay healthy, that most parents want their children to enjoy at least one sporting activity, and it is fair to say that most children will enjoy sports a much more if they get to be pretty good at them.

Of course, just taking part in sport is and should be enough, but that doesn’t mean that we can’t help our kids to succeed at their sport of choice, build some self-esteem and enjoy their active time more.

Here are some simple steps you can take to help your kids succeed at sports:

Make it Positive

Kids aren’t going to get the most out of sports if they do not enjoy the experience, so although you don’t have control over every aspect of the experience, you should do what you can to make it an enjoyable one. This means that you should avoid putting pressure on them, let them try out a few things to see which they enjoy most and assist them in dealing with failings or conflict with their peers as best you can.

Work Out What Suits Them

Some kids are better at solo sports such as running or gymnastics, while others will thrive in a team sports situation, and if you want to help your child enjoy sports, you need to work out which activities will be most suitable for their personality. Of course, you should do this in conjunction with them, rather than deciding it on their behalf, or you could be accused of being a pushy parent rather than an encouraging one.

Avoid Burnout
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Sometimes, even if a child enjoys sport, on the whole, there will be times when they become fed up and don’t want to get out on the field at all. More often than not, this is because they are suffering from burnout and some time away from the sport, perhaps trying out something new, can do them the world of good and get them back on an active path.

Manage Their Schedules

These days, even very young kids have a lot on their plate, what with homework, extracurricular activities, chores, and sports, which means that they can get very easily overwhelmed and every area of their life can suffer as a result. As a parent, you need to step in, look at all their commitments and help them draw up a schedule, which will cover the essentials, leave time for sport and give them plenty of time to relax. This could mean dropping a few less essential commitments, but it will be worth it in the long-term.

Buy the Right Equipment

Hiring the right equipment can make all the difference between a child succeeding at sport and failing, even if they have decent skills. That is why it is always a good idea to do some research into the best equipment for your child’s chosen sports. For example, you can find lots of different baseball gloves, all offering up different benefits, which is why you might want to ask your kid’s coach which equipment will really help them along.

Limit Screen Time
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The average child in the United States spends as much as 7 hours staring at a screen each day! Just by putting a strict limit on the amount of time they can spend watching TV, playing video games and texting on their phone will force them to get out into the fresh air where they can run around and start an impromptu football came in the street. It’ll also give them more time to complete homework, talk to the family and socialize with friends, resulting in a healthier happier child all-round.

Play with Them

If you want kids to really love sports, don’t just leave it to gym class and coaches to get them excited. Spend some of your free time at the weekends playing sports with them. They’ll love having fun with mom and dad, staying active and getting into the spirit of things. What’s more, since you are likely to be their biggest role models at a young age, seeing you being active will encourage them to make regular activity part of their lives too.

Take Them to Games

If you want children to love sports, you need to inspire them. One of the most effective ways of doing this is to take them to big sports games, where they can see professionals at the peak of their game performing. They can’t fail to be inspired by brilliant athletes who’ve worked hard to get where they are, and chances are they will want to follow in their considerable footsteps of these great role models.

Hire a Coach
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If it is noticed that your child has real potential in one area, you will absolutely want to hire them a coach who can guide them along. This is particularly important if your child has been spotted as someone who could one day be an elite athlete competing at the Olympics of in another professional capacity.

Choose the Coach Wisely

If you do think your kid would benefit from a professional coach, it is important that you find one who gets on with and just plain gets your child. If a coach is bad, too pushy or just isn’t the right personality to get on with your child, they could be put off from learning and advancing, which would represent a huge wasted opportunity.

Take Care of Their Mind

Many of us tend to think of sports as being just about the body, but it is quite a lot about the mind too. In order succeed at sports, one has to think strategically, work out their tactics for the game and know their own skills and weakness, which is why training their mind and ensuring they do well at school is just as important to them on the field as football practice.

Relieve Pressure

Going out on the field in front of many people who are all watching you and expecting you to do well can have a real strain on the minds of young children and adults alike, which is why it is good to de-stress, relieve pressure and relax as often as possible. It is also important that you don’t place too much emphasis on winning. This could lead to stress, depression and dropping out of sports, which will not help your child one little bit. Make it more about doing your best and working hard and less about the final result if you want your child to be sporty and happy.

Let them Quit
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Of course, sometimes it is better all round to simply let your child quit. If they no longer love baseball like they once used to, don’t fight them on it. If they’ve given it a real shot and they still want to quit, let it be. Gently encourage them to try new sports, but don’t push it or you could put them off ever doing any exercise at all.

Try Alternative Activities

If you really want your kids to benefit from the positive aspect of sports, but they are resistant to traditional activities like baseball, football, and tennis, why not let them try out something a bit different. Many young girls just love practicing yoga and dance and young boys can get a lot out of martial arts – you don’t have to stick to the classics to ensure your kids are healthy, fit well-rounded individuals and doing something is better than doing nothing at.

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