Child Athletes – How to Raise a Good Sport

DKT Blogs/Knows How May 20,2016 Comments(0) Likes(2) Parenting

Child Athletes – How to Raise a Good Sport  


There are many activities outside of school in which to enroll your child.  When you allow your child to participate in team sports, it can provide an enjoyable experience for them as they grow, practice a new skill and learn to make friends as part of a team.   Team sports provides an avenue for teaching teamwork, commitment, dedication and a way to offer kids opportunities to interact with children outside of their social circle and enjoy some fresh air and exercise. Also, any parent would enjoy sitting in the bleachers or standing on the sidelines cheering their child on, taking pride in their child's achievement. The nature of sports is competitive but teaching good sportsmanship is more important than athletic prowess. While it's normal for parents to get excited at the idea of an athletic child prodigy and the potential for college


Scholarships, the goal of raising a child who can deal with loss and interact well as part of a team is essential. 


Many people wonder what characteristic constitutes a ‘bad sport'. A poor sport or ‘spoil sport' is a person who cannot graciously lose a game, would perhaps cheat to win a match, someone who becomes boastful after winning a game, taking the competition to a new level.  Despite some kids' natural inclination towards a competitive spirit, there are a few ways a parent can raise a ‘good sport':


1.   Find Balance.  Don’t overbook your child in sporting events.  Having a child in sport and other activities provides a healthy balance between sports and non-sporting extra-curricular activities. This will provide kids with many opportunities to practice interacting with others outside of a competitive environment. 


2.   Teach positive sportsmanship. By exhibiting a positive attitude during non-sports activities, such as losing a card game or at family game night, parents can teach their kids to practice being a gracious loser off the field.


3.   Be an Early Bird.  By starting early, you can teach kids at a young age how to play actively and focus on the physical feeling of games and movement, rather than the winning.


4.   Encourage fair play. Kids learn by watching so lead by example and encourage them to play fair.  Set the rules for games before starting, and handle any tempers over loss with empathy and understanding.


5.   No Quit Zone. If your child wants to play a sport or join a club, be sure to set the rule they must finish out the season, no matter how many games they win or lose.  The object of team sports is sportsmanship and team building, not winning every game.


6.   Join the Team.  Parents who remain involved in their kids' sports can encourage their child to exhibit positive sportsmanship and set realistic goals.  By validating the child's participation on the team, a parent can take the focus off of the score and to the experience of playing the game.


Kids who play team sports have an opportunity to make wonderful childhood memories. For a budding athlete, team sports can also be a fantastic avenue for collegiate athletics or a career. With some determination and effort, parents can teach children to enjoy the aspects of playing sports that don’t necessarily equate to winning the game, such as exercise, learning to work as part of a team, commitment, and having fun while exercising.



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