Starting your child in sports can be an exciting time for parents and children alike! However, for parents, there may be some concerns about how to make sure your child is a good sport. You want them to be competitive, respectful, and driven all while having fun.
But how do you make sure you are giving your child the tools to be a good sport and succeed on and off the field? STEM Sports® has compiled a list of tips for parents on how to raise a good sport:
- Focus on progress
In sports, it can be easy to focus on the outcome. How did I play? Did we win or lose? These questions can, depending on the answer, lead to negative emotions in your child. At home and during sporting events, try to focus your attention on personal progress rather than current results. This allows your child to compete against themselves. This creates a driven individual who will push themselves for personal growth both in sports and in life!
- Play games with them at-home
Play games with your child at home! This easy step can make a huge difference on how your child views competition. How does your child react when they lose? By making this a regular practice in your household, you can show your child how to act regardless of the outcome.
- Practice active emotion regulation
Emotion regulation is something that can be difficult for many children. In your day-to-day and at sporting events, focus on the emotions that your child is currently experiencing. This is called active emotion regulation. If your child is frustrated, stop them and ask them how they are feeling, why they are feeling that way, and how they can change this. By making them aware of their emotion, you are teaching them the skills they need to calm themselves in high-stress and high-intensity situations.
- Work on accepting feedback
Getting feedback can be difficult regardless of your age. By starting your child early, you can give them the tools they need to hear feedback and implement it moving forward. One good practice for this can be telling your child two positive things after their game and one thing they can work on going into their next practice. By combining the positive and constructive feedback, children will see it is not one or the other. Feedback isn’t negative, it is something people give when they see potential in you!