Taking a Supporting Role in Sports

22 Mar

{This post is part of on an ongoing thought series on children’s involvement in sports, as well as parental influence and contribution.}

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Just because we may have had our own experience with the sport our child is experiencing, we must guard against infusing it with our personal bias, whether it be positive or negative. If we can try to feel the excitement, the sense of challenge, or even perhaps some of the performance anxiety that our child is feeling and step in to help them absorb it by expressing our personal and genuine experience without overlaying it, then it will go a long way in helping them get the best out of their experience. Especially in sports, many parents overlay their own experience on their kids.

I remember a sixth-grade soccer game when I was doing exactly that. Another parent right next to me in the adjacent field began to tell his daughter in a very loud and excited voice that when he was playing he never let the ball get past him. She was barely 11 years old! I then realized that I was saying the same things to my boys when they came off the field. I understood then that although our kids were looking up at us and pretending to really listen because we are taking loudly and with considerable excitement, it really wasn’t the best way to support them and their level of interest. I learned a valuable lesson that day and I remember it to this day.

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