Parenting and sport work well together
I think that children are wired to run, to jump, to dance, to kick a ball or cycle or swim, and it is a beautiful thing. We were made to move. Ever since my children were young, we’ve encouraged them to get outside and start being active. They need it, and so do you!
Encouraging your children to live an active lifestyle develops their teamwork ability, sportsmanship, an understanding of commitment, a strong mind and teamwork.
When they play a team sport, they learn that every member of the team matters. The goalie is the first line of attack and the forward or goal scorer often only shines because of the hard yards put in by the defenders or midfielders. It’s a team effort. When one wins, we all win. As Babe Ruth said: “The way a team plays as a whole determines its success. You may have the greatest bunch of individual stars in the world, but if they don’t play together, the club won’t be worth a dime.”
By teaching our children to win and lose graciously, we train them for life. To play a game with a smile on your face and with a right attitude stands them in great stead for the game of life. No-one likes a sore loser. It’s important to teach your son and daughter to lose well. Their value as a human being does not depend on them winning, and they need to know that from you.
In life, you need to spend a season training for specific roles. Just as in sport, you cannot arrive to play a game of tennis with no training or coaching. Foundations need to be laid, and your muscles must get strengthened. You cannot skip the foundations, no shortcuts here.
Your mindset often determines your outcome in a sport. As an athlete, you need to overcome the obstacles in your mind first before you body follows suit. Training your child to think correctly and accurately is a great life lesson. Their self-talk and mindset make all the difference in how they perform on the sports field and in life.
Older children will need to learn to manage their time by balancing school work and sport. They will need to prioritize specific activities and learn to make the right choices to succeed. How many adults struggle to manage their time?
My daughter recently went on a hockey tour to Holland. But, what preceded this sports tour was fascinating. Besides the trials, their coaches asked them to commit to 3 months of pre-tour training (these were extra hockey sessions on a weekend). They had to make sure their school work was up to date and that they were cross-training to increase fitness. The joy in her eyes after a practice session could light up the room. I know that she had to push through and I know that the lessons she has learned from this tour will stand her in good stead as she gets ready to finish her schooling in a few years.
She sent me this picture from one of the hockey clubs in Holland saying it made her giggle. So, I would like to leave you with these thoughts from this image in your mind. Enjoy encouraging your child to play sport and to have fun in the process.