kids sports

“The Healthiest competition occurs when average people win by putting above average effort”. – Colin Powel

Sports can be many things to our children, fun, thrill, emotion, feelings, pride, and many more. Our kids more than ever are being driven by sports everywhere; they know the name of every player in soccer, basket-ball, baseball, football and any other sport that they can practice; these athletes are like heroes for our kids, and they will imitate any behavior from their heroes; but what happen when these heroes show unhealthy competition attitudes?

There is now doubt that competition can be a double-edged knife for your kids, in one hand it keeps your childrenís spirit hungry, thirsty and wanting for more; in the other hand, a kid that is too competitive can develop bad attitudes, and with time be perceived as a negative person; these issues later can affect your kid as an adult and create vicious circles that will make him or her unhappy.

There is nothing wrong with being competitive; many famous athletes talk about competition as a healthy factor in their development; they say that competition is the key for them to stay focused and disciplined. Competition gives them the opportunity to become aware of their own vulnerability, and that is what keeps them pushing and eventually be successful. For our children with less maturity in specific situations of life, the issue starts when they perceive those vulnerable positions as threatening situations for themselves; at that point, a kid can become rebellious and start creating troubles with other kids. That is why it is important that we as parents can educate our kids so they can take sportsmanlike attitudes at every stage of their life.

Take advantage of Sports to give your kids valuable lessons

There is a great opportunity for us as parents to play a role in the education of our kids, and even when this sounds like obvious, not many people understand that every step is key in a kidís learning curve. A great way to help your children to mature these ìthreatingî situations is to expose them to those in a controlled way; sports really offer a big chance for you to do that. Here are some of the things that you as a parent should be watching and adjusting with every play:

  • Teach them the rules: Take your kids to the park or your backyard to play a game and be friendly all the time, instruct them in the ground rules of the game and show them the importance of enforcing the rules. Whenever someone breaks one, stop the game and explain it again, be clear about the fact that the game cannot continue when one rule has been broken. This is a great moment to remind them that you all should have fun, but that the rules have to be followed.
  • Threatening situations: It will happen, one of your kids is going to feel threatened by something or someone, he could or†couldn’t†give you any sign of it, so that is why is important that you keep the environment healthy, encouraging all of them to give their best but following the rules.
  • Kids must be educated with love: If someone gets hurt or shows a negative attitude is always a good idea to stop the game and all as a team assist to the kid or remind him that all are having fun and that the game needs him to continue; if the kid is reluctant to continue you can give him some space, but you must address this as soon as possible.

Fun and Love are Key ingredients to educate your kids

Unlikely most adults, children will pay attention to whatever you want to say, so good advice and friendly questions are always a good idea. Love is the key ingredient that will always turn things in the right direction, if you share advice and reflecting questions with love, your kids will be more agreeable to follow you. The whole point is to have fun; it is best to instruct your kids to have fun at their sport practice, once they understand that fun is the primary objective of any sport, they will be ready to endure any of the threatening situations that we described, they will also gain maturity to see when some of their heroes is not playing fair, and to understand that sports are discipline, hard work, team work, camaraderie and sacrifice; but more than anything, sports are a game of fun and a fun game. Have fun!

About the Author:

Jose Lozano is and Engineer who also serves as a consultant for a local football team, encouraging the players to have a fun at every game and play by the rules. Part of the training is to teach the team to do more things together than just football; the team decided to learn to fly an RC F-18 jet plane , this of course paid-off, the team is now communicating in a different way,†team-building and having more fun. They are playing the finals for their second consecutive championship next week.

Kelly Croslis

Kelly Croslis is our Grandparenting and Sports Section author and editor.

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