Top Ten Parenting Tips For Helping Your Young Athlete
Top Ten Parenting Tips For Helping Your Young Athlete
Being a parent is one of life’s most challenging and rewarding experiences. As your children are developing physically and emotionally, you want to be there to support them every step of the way. But each child is unique and growing up in a unique situation, and unfortunately there’s no one size fits all parenting guidebook for this.
A recent Harvard poll found that 76% of parents encourage their teenagers to play sports. Participation in sports can help kids build a healthy body as well as form values, social skills and friendships that can last a lifetime. Here is some advice to assist you in parenting your young athlete.
1.) Talk To Your Kids & Ask Them How They Feel About Sports
Discovering the hopes and fears of your children is always a good place to start. Is she psyched to join the volleyball team? Is he nervous about trying out for the varsity tennis team? While some kids can’t wait for tryouts, others may need a gentle push to put down the video game controller. As parents, you need to first understand the situation in order to provide the best guidance for your young athletes. And it’s important to keep communications open through the ups and downs of a season.
2.) Identify The Goals They Would Like to Accomplish
What motivates your young athlete? Is he driven to become the star pitcher on his baseball team? Does she strive to be the top scorer on her soccer team? Or are they playing sports simply for the socialization and camaraderie? There’s certainly nothing wrong with any of these goals. Many young athletes can benefit by writing down their objectives – and then you can help them by identifying the necessary steps to achieve those goals.
3.) Let Them Follow Their Own Passions
It’s common for parents to want to relive their glory years through their kids – but we’ve all seen how that story can end. They may not love softball or wrestling as much as you did. While children may need some guidance and motivation to get started, parents also need to recognize when to back off. Too much pressure to participate or excel at a specific sport, can cause kids to push back, especially if they have recently experienced a loss or failure. Be patient and understanding to help them find their own way.
4.) Encourage Multiple Sports Participation
Nowadays, it’s easy to find programs to keep your child playing the same sport year-round. And if you have designs on a future college scholarship, you may be tempted to keep their focus on one sport. However, research on this topic warns that kids who specialize on a single sport are more inclined to quit due to decreased motivation and less enjoyment. Playing multiple sports has been shown to improve coordination and reduce the chance of overuse, repetitive motion injuries. The bottom line is that participating in multiple sports can help both mentally and physically.
5.) Be Engaged But Foster Independence
Like with schoolwork, a parent needs to know where to draw the line between helping and hurting a child’s development into a young adult. While it may be easy to pick up the phone and contact your child’s coach or teacher, let them start to build the confidence to approach these adults on their own. It’s OK to be supportive by attending their games but attending all practices can become smothering and create unnecessary pressure. Playing sports is one of the best ways to build independence, character and confidence.
6.) Model Positive Behavior
We’ve all seen how embarrassing it can be when an overzealous parent starts yelling at the officiating, the coaches or other players. Don’t be that person! By keeping a stable, positive attitude, you demonstrate to your child that the game is meant to be fun, not life and death. No matter after a win or a loss, point out the importance of good sportsmanship and the thrill of the competition.
7.) Help Them Manage Frustration During Difficult Times
Inevitably, in sports as in life, there will be highs and lows, wins and losses. In team sports, a mistake by one individual can cost the entire team the game or the season. That’s a lot of pressure on a kid. Even the world’s best athletes suffer disappointment and defeats. How your athlete learns to cope with a missed shot, a bad swim meet or a dropped ball, can help him/her later in life as well.
8.) Monitor Their Health
Sports can be tough on a developing young body. It’s always advisable to get a physical check-up before training starts. And during the season, make sure your athlete is eating well, hydrating enough, and getting a good night’s sleep. Lacking the proper rest and nutrition can increase the chances of injury. And it’s important to recognize an injury early to ensure proper treatment.
9.) Monitor Their Happiness
While sports can be a great learning and socializing experience for a child, the #1 reason to play sports is still to have fun. If you ask, the most elite athletes in the world will tell you that they love competing. They don’t do play just for the money, they do it because sports makes them happy. Keep a watchful eye on your athlete and be ready to offer support and encouragement.
10.) Love Them Unconditionally
Every child no matter how old, appreciates hearing the words: “I’m so proud of you!” or simply “I Love you!” A hug after a home run is positive, but also anticipated. Praise your young athlete for being a good teammate or helping the coach carry the equipment bag. Set the example and reinforce positive values that can be helpful beyond sports. You’re teaching them to not only be a good athlete – but to also some day become a good parent themselves.
Bonus Tip: Ensure Your Young Athlete Has The Proper Geat To Help Them Succeed
Most schools will supply a uniform and then only the most necessary equipment. Kids can also benefit from independent coaches who can teach technique and ensure proper conditioning. Another helpful piece of gear for your young athlete is VKTRY Insoles.
Made from full-length, aerospace-grade carbon fiber, VKs have been scientifically proven to:
- Help athletic performance (jumping higher & running faster),
- Reduce injuries (-41% foot injuries and -22% lower leg injuries),
- Help in recovery from existing injuries (link to injury blog).
VKTRY offers a 90-day money back guarantee so you can let your young athletes try the insoles for themselves – and you can return the product for a full refund if they don’t absolutely love their VKs.
VKTRY Insoles have been successful in helping athletes with better performance and better protection from injuries, as evidenced by field research, clinical studies and in thousands of customer testimonials. VKTRY offers a 90-day money back guarantee, so if the product is not helping a person in recovery, VKTRY provides a no questions asked refund. For more information, please click the button below.