Admit it: just about every parent is envious of Archie and Olivia Manning. They had three strapping young boys, two of them are now sports legends and the other on television announcing every play to the nation. Regardless of being a die-hard Boston fan, most of us would love sitting back in our rocking chairs later in life and being able to say that somehow, we helped make that all happen. While it is true that Archie was a remarkable football player in his own right, and both Archie and Olivia are well-educated college graduates, we can’t help but wonder what their formula for success was.
There is no set of instructions when it comes to sports success. It takes years of hard work, determination, and dedication on the part of the athlete. However, there are ways that you can assist your child’s sports ambitions without being an overbearing sideline parent. We urge you to tackle the topics below and try to incorporate them into your family’s game plan.
Tell every child to take part
Very few children will grow up to be quarterbacks for the New England Patriots or pitch a game for the Red Sox. Many that start out learning to skate may not be doing triple axels in the next Winter Olympics, or sitting in goal at the next NHL game. What is integral to remember when it comes to childhood sports ambitions is that physical competence and activities are lifelong skills to be fostered.
Sports of all kinds provide an opportunity to teach children soft skills such as coping strategies, leadership, teamwork, and discipline, which are all essential in everyday life. Children who can be involved in organized sports do better in school and have a stronger work ethic and sense of self-discipline compared to their counterparts that aren’t given the same opportunities.
Role model appropriate behaviors
Telling your child to do something will never be as effective as getting in there and doing it with them. You can’t very well expect your child to be amicable about heading outside to practice their soccer skills while you sit on the couch surfing YouTube videos. Fostering your child’s love for sports and competition comes from within their family and peer group. Remain encouraging by aiming to teach rather than chastise and avoid being overly competitive.
As your child gets older, focus on supporting your child with their sports ambitions by being someone they can talk to and nurturing them in all aspects of their life. Attend their games and show your commitment, but allow the coach to be the instructor and decision-maker when it comes to the team. However, as a parent, you still have every right to ensure your child is coached by someone that has the same ethics about sportsmanship and skill-building as you do.
We all want our children to excel, and it is easy to let our emotions get the better of us. If your child makes it big, it is straightforward to sell a house fast in Boston. Always come back to remembering that sports should be a fun, lifelong learning opportunity and that your primary objective is to do what is best for your child.