Children love to run around and play. Sports provide opportunities for our young learners to grow – physically and mentally. If your children enjoy being involved with sports, ThrivingFamily.com’s Carey Casey has provided us with the six important character qualities that are found when teaching children through sports.
The bigger issue here is humility and respect for authority. The coach might make decisions your child doesn’t agree with; the referee or umpire might make a bad call. Still, your child needs to learn to deal with his frustration in a positive way. Learning this on the field can translate into respect for other authority figures: teachers, bosses, police officers and others.
Martin Luther King Jr. used to talk about an “11th commandment” that prevails in America: “Thou shalt not get caught.” Many people still live by that tenet. But we must call our children to honesty and integrity, and sports provide opportunities to do that.
No matter what you say, your kids will remember your actions more than your words. Your integrity is reflected in the way you cheer at your child’s game and the way you talk about the game afterward. What is your attitude about stretching the rules in order to win?
In the heat of competition, your child will face defeat and failure. In football, he’ll fumble the ball or miss a tackle; in softball, she’ll strike out. Whenever there’s a winner, there is also a loser.
It’s important to teach your child how to deal with failure in a positive way. That lesson, learned under pressure, will help prepare him to succeed — in sports and many other areas of life.
Gifted athletes don’t necessarily make the best players. Often, a coach will keep them on the sideline because of their bad attitude. Likewise, the best teams are not always made up of the greatest athletes, but when they accept their role on the team and have a positive attitude about it, they can win.
Your child’s attitude will determine how far she can go in life. Praise your child for her positive attitude above her good performance. Challenge her with the notion that one optimistic person can set the tone for the whole team.
As you know, there’s a lot of “trash-talking” in sports today — even in kids’ games. In the heat of competition, your child may be tempted to put another player down or pump himself up. It’s vital that we teach our kids to show good sportsmanship even during on-the-field battles.
They need to learn to redefine what “winning” means. If they win a game but disrespect or humiliate other players, they are not winning.
Sports will bring out the unique characteristics of your children. Maybe your son can’t jump high enough to touch the net — but he might be a good shooter from the outside. Maybe it’s clear your daughter will never be the star of the team — but perhaps her teammates all look to her for encouragement. Whatever the case, your children will learn a lot about their strengths and weaknesses.
The performance-oriented nature of sports will give you many chances to cheer your children on and affirm them. Take Pride Learning supports the all ways that children are able to build the fundamentals needed to learn and succeed. Remember – no matter how they perform, let your children know that you love them simply for who they are.