My child is a sportsman: what can I do to help him?

My child is a sportsman: what can I do to help him?

Mothers and fathers are the people who struggle the most for the well-being of their children in all facets of their lives. When a child decides to become actively involved in a sport the proper involvement of the parents is extremely important, as their attitude can influence the young athlete in both a positive and negative way.

Now… what is the attitude that parents should adopt in order to facilitate the progress of their children with regard to this sport? We will see it below.

Types of parents according to coaches

From the coaches’ point of view there are 5 types of parents (according to attitude):

1. Critical Parents

Those who only pay attention and support the child when he/she achieves good sports results .

2. Pseudo-training parents

Parents who have been practicing and tend to take on the task of coaching as their own. Normally they constantly make technical comments even if they contradict the coach’s comments.

3. Selfless parents

Those who are totally unaware of their child’s activity.

4. Overprotective parents

Parents who identify excessively with their child and therefore experience their feelings and experiences in the first person. It is common to overprotect children when something goes wrong.

5. Parent partners

Those parents who do not know the most fundamental rules but still want to have a relevant role in decision-making. They usually feel free enough to give their opinion when they do not have the necessary knowledge required.

The Role of Parents in Children’s Sports Development

In this way, to avoid becoming one of these types of parents and end up creating uncomfortable and stressful situations, which are recently observed in some sports, it is advisable to advise parents on how to contribute positively to promoting sport as an educational medium from which their children can benefit.

Below are a number of aspects to be taken into account in order to promote a positive attitude of parents towards their children’s sport.

1. Trusting the coach

It may seem obvious but many parents do not trust enough the person who has the technical requirements to teach their children and empower them in relation to sport . We have to believe more in the professionalism of the coaches.

2. Recognize the value, importance and time of the coach

The coach is the person who invests the most time in the players with the purpose of strengthening them technically and personally in the sport. For this reason it is important to take into account the effort involved , even if the results do not match what you would like.

3. Find the right occasion for communication with the coach

Establishing contact with the coach is necessary for many parents, as it is the way to be able to comment on aspects related to their children and sport. Parents should try to find the right moment to adjust their positions in an atmosphere of calm and serenity.

4. Assessing effort over result

It is not good for parents to focus their gratitude towards sport based on the result as obtaining concrete results should not be the main objective of the sporting activity. What is important is to value the effort that their children make to prosper in sport and they should always show support when the results are negative.

5. Show interest

Children need to see their parents interested in the sport they play. When they perceive that their parents ask them, they try to attend competitions and get involved, the positive reinforcement is greater and motivation increases.

6. Do not push your child beyond his/her means

Each person faces sports activity differently. There are children with more abilities than others but that does not mean that they should not be encouraged. The right thing is to be aware of the possibilities our children have and never demand more than what we are capable of giving.

7. Accepting successes and failures

Parents should be supporting their children in good times and bad. For this reason you should not show a negative attitude towards failure , since children will give it more importance than it has. In the face of a negative result or a goal not achieved, progress must be encouraged.

8. Admitting that your child can make mistakes freely

Parents should be aware that their children can make mistakes and are no worse off than others. It is important that they learn to accept their children’s mistakes and to not feel ashamed of them .

9. Recognize that your child plays sports for his or her own benefit and fun

Parents have to be able to accept that their children do sport because they like it and enjoy it, especially when they are not under excessive pressure. Therefore, it is advisable to be attentive at all times to the vision that the sportsman or woman has of the sport he or she is doing.

10. Helping Your Child Decide for Himself

Children should never be pressured into making the decision that their parents want, but should be encouraged to make it their own way.

11. Remember that they are models

Parents should not forget that they are always a reference for their children. Believe it or not, children are constantly aware of their parents’ behaviours and decisions and, in the long run, many act like them. For this reason the values that are transmitted are very important and, among them, those of fair play and companionship should be highlighted.

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