If we are honest as a parent, we’ll be able to admit that we don’t always get it right, every time. Nobody does. We have all had at least one instance during our parenting when we have unwittingly overreached in attempting to get our children to be successful at whatever they choose to do. Often this happens in the sporting area of life. For some of us, this can show up as pushing our children to work at a pace that might work better for you, than for them, and hassling them to achieve in your way, rather than supporting them in their own process.
The fact is that if they love playing a particular sport, then you are already winning, as this will provide them with bountiful tools for life that they will learn along the way as they continue to play. How you can support them best is not through telling them how to achieve success, but by showing them with your actions, and becoming a valuable ally in their journey of playing their sport of choice.
Provide Emotional Support
One key skill that children learn through playing sport is how to work as a team with other people, towards a common goal. During this exploration, they will discover that different personalities have different ideas about how things should be done, and what their own expectations are. As their parent, providing emotional support as a friend will assist them as they navigate through these waters is your best bet, rather than over-identifying with their experiences and getting too involved.
Stand on the sidelines, so to speak, and share your insights, but don’t tell them how to think about what they are experiencing. Encourage them to be team players, and to accept that different people have different ideas, and that’s just life, so we learn to work together.
Practice at Home Together
If there is one thing that children will appreciate more than anything else, it’s the opportunity to practice at home, and doing it with either Mum or Dad, will make it even more fun. Get some equipment for whatever your children’s favourite sport is, and aim to spend at least 2-3 hours a week practicing with them, and giving them the opportunity to practice the new skills they are learning during their team practice. If you don’t have time to practice with your children, they could join an indoor sport team such as one of those at Salisbury Super Sports, which would give them the opportunity to practice.
Support Them in Goal Setting
If your children have a dream to continue playing the sport to a professional level, or they just want to see how far they can go at playing the sport, encourage them in setting goals of what they want to achieve. This can assist them with staying focused and motivated to expand on their practice, and build their fitness health to achieve their goals over time.