5 Ways To Ensure Your Kids Excel In Their Sports
Most of us have kids who play sports in one way or another and naturally like in all other aspects of life we want what’s best for them and for them to excel to the fullest of their potential. There is a lot to consider and this can drastically change depending on the child, what level or stage they are at and what sport they are actually participating in. So it’s no wonder that it can be confusing to figure out the best way to support them and help them get to where they want to be in their chosen sporting pursuit. Here we will look at 5 ways that we, as parents, can not only help but make sure that our help is effective and in the right areas.
Make Sure They Are In The Right Sport
Firstly making sure that they are actually participating in the sport that is right for them can be quite a process as everyone is different, having different preferences and even different skills, abilities and body types. It may be the case that there are sports that you or perhaps a sibling have been heavily involved in and therefore it’s entirely natural to think they will gravitate towards this ‘family sport’ but this isn’t always the case. You should allow time during the early years to try various different sports and activities so that they may find their best fit and this often takes a few false starts and things that for one reason or another just don’t work out.
Ensure They Actually Enjoy It
Enjoyment is one of the key features of playing a sport and although often this enjoyment comes through winning and progressing through the ranks of a particular sport it’s often not enough and if the game itself isn’t enjoyable to the child then you may find they will ditch it as soon as they can or even worse feel resentful that they were encouraged or pressured into it. This is why taking the time to allow them to choose their own path will pay dividends going into the future as they are going to much more enjoy their time if it’s 100% their journey and yes you are there to support, encourage and fund this journey but it is essentially theirs. You can easily see that those at the top of their game professionally have a real love and passion for their sport that you cannot force in or coach in to someone’s game, it’s why they go those extra steps, put in those extra hours in training and analysis after all.
Provide Good Quality Equipment
Being poorly equipped can not only make a sport less enjoyable for a kid as struggling with an old, broken or cheap piece of kit can really spoil the enjoyment of a game or sport. So bearing this in mind it’s important to properly equip the child for any sport they are getting to the level of being serious about. Obviously if they are just starting out and you are all unsure if they will be keeping up the activity long term then please borrow some decent equipment from the club or a friend until you know it’s going to be a wise investment. Be sure to do your research on what the best gear is and there are plenty of good places to get quality info on sporting equipment such as Lift Your Game which offer guides to what to get at different budgets and for many different sports. You can always consider second hand equipment and once you are involved in the sport and at the clubs you will always find parents of kids from the older teams looking to sell off decent quality used stuff that their children have outgrown.
Take Time To Make Sure Your Aims Match Theirs
You know what’s best for them, after all they are your kids aren’t they? But this isn’t necessarily true in all aspects of life surely, of course it’s your job to guide them and make sure they are safe and happy and lead as full a life as they possibly can. But when it comes to their activities even if you are both in agreement in what sport is best for them to pursue are you certain that you are both looking onwards the same aims and working towards the same goals? Is it elite performance and achievement that is important to them? Do they want to go for Olympic Gold and glory or look to be a high level professional? Maybe not, perhaps it’s just participation, fun enjoyment and fitness that is important to them. Or maybe they do want to pursue a career in the sport but not at the elite performance level, maybe they want a behind the scenes role or to work coaching and developing youth talent themselves. It’s best to sit down and talk to your child to make sur you know why they are interested in the sport and where they see themselves being so that you can help them achieve what it is they are after.
Get The Best Coaching Possible For Them
If they are serious about performance and achievement in this way then it’s important to look at what the best coaching options are for them? Are they playing a sport that they do at school and if so you should keep this in mind when selecting a High School for them to attend and you should research which schools have a good programme for that kind of sport and send them there. If it’s more the kind of sport that they need individual tuition for then look at the coaches available and willing to take them on, get recommendations from other players and check who they have coached previously and how far they have gone, finally ask to meet and talk through the plan with the coach to see if you feel they are a good match for your child.
Overall just remember to make this a fun journey and don’t forget to have lots of family fun in other ways as a family and not make it all about their sports.