10 Tips To Keep Youth Athletics Fun

January 17, 2017
youth soccer team

10 Tips To Keep Youth Athletics Fun

From the time they are mere tots learning to crawl and later run to their hearts' delights, children are often drawn to sports. In fact, youth athletics are one of the activities where children are most likely to make lifelong friends as they progress from junior leagues to middle school teams, and later high school or college-level sports. However, if today's kids are going to be able to truly enjoy all of the benefits that sports can offer, then parents must learn how to keep the game fun.

From softball to soccer, even in the most competitive of circumstances, the following 10 tips will help you and your children remember that youth sports can and should remain fun:

  1. Let your child choose the right youth sport.

    Just because you love baseball doesn't mean your son or daughter is ready to become the next pitcher for the Orioles. Let your child experiment with what sports are best for his or her aspirations. Remember that in order to glean all of the benefits from a chosen sport, your child must be able to find joy in playing.

  2. Find the right coach.

    Choosing the right coach will mean looking at more than his or her win/loss record. Be on the lookout for someone who exhibits a strong work ethic, while simultaneously employing positive coaching techniques. The best coach will be someone who has a passion for providing positive, constructive instruction that encourages kids to learn for themselves, strive to discover new skills, and practice positive sportsmanship on and off the field.

  3. Volunteer to help the team.

    When you spend time helping the players on your child's youth sports team, you will gain a valuable perspective. In short, volunteering will remind you that kids are just kids, whether they are trying to win a national volleyball championship or not. Get to know their names, likes, dislikes, superstitious quirks and favorite sport-time snacks.

  4. Take the focus off winning.

    The beauty of youth athletics is that they give children an opportunity to learn life lessons. Focus on the positive lessons gained from a win or loss, instead of counting the games won.

  5. Focus on your child’s enjoyment.

    While winning is great, it is not everything. It is far more beneficial for your child to play on a team that emphasizes enjoyment and sportsmanship than it is for your child to play on a team that "wins no matter what." In fact, the most successful professional athletes are often the first people to say that they learned the greatest lessons about themselves and their playing when they suffered a loss.

  6. Stop comparing.

    Every child has his or her own set of strengths and weaknesses. As a parent, it is your job to not only support your child, but to also be a positive influence for every child playing on the field or court. Instead of giving into the comparison game, be the mentor that your child needs to discover how his or her strengths can be balanced with another player to create an even stronger team.

  7. Don’t pressure your child to perform.

    Being pressured to train more, play harder, score more, or "do anything better," is one of the leading reasons that children quit youth sports. It is important for parents to remember that kids put enough pressure on themselves to succeed; adding to that pressure will only strip away the enjoyment from the sport and make it that much harder for a child to succeed.

  8. Never yell.

    Cheering is great, yelling is not. No matter what, never yell at your child during or after a practice or a game. It is damaging to your child’s morale and self-esteem.

  9. Don’t try to live your sport dream through your child.

    If you care more about your child's sporting achievements than he or she does, that is a red flag. If you missed sporting opportunities when you were younger, don't try to make your child live your long-lost dreams. Instead, let your child create his or her own path.

  10. Understand that your child probably won't play professionally.

    The chances of your child playing professional baseball, basketball, soccer or any of the other popular sports is very slim. With this in mind, the sooner you recognize that your child might not make it to the Major Leagues, the easier it will be for you to help your child focus on enjoying the sport and all it can offer.

When the time is right for your child to step onto the court or field, make sure that he or she is dressed for success in Cisco Athletic youth sports uniforms. While your child might not make it to the professional levels of his or her preferred sport, one thing is certain: Children can and should look the part as they continue to follow their passion for the love of the game.

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