Skill Building: 5 Ways to Promote a Happy “Team Sport” Experience

Building: 5 Ways to Promote a Happy Team-Sports Activity

Skill Building: 5 Ways to Promote a Happy Team Sports Experience

  1. Make a Game Plan. Talk with your child about what to expect: The length of the season and frequency of practice, for instance. Explain that being part of a team is a commitment, and the team will rely on him/her to be there every time. As encouragement, make a chart or checklist where your child can check off a box or get a sticker for each practice!
  2. Pick your Team. Before signing your child up for team sports, talk to the coach and other parents to get a feel for the mood of the group. Does the league focus more on winning or learning? Competition or fun? Make sure the team is a good fit for your child’s age and personality.
  3. Get the Gear! When stocking up on required gear, give your child some choice. If buying new shoes, for instance, let the child decide between two options you’re happy with. If your child is getting hand-me-downs to use for play, consider letting him/her pick out new laces or adding other decorations to make them feel special and new. (This can work partway through the season, too!)
  4. Know the Game. Learn the basic rules of your child’s sport so you can answer any questions that come up, or find a child-friendly reference book or website that you can look at together when you don’t have the answer. (Just remember to keep it light—pull out the sports trivia only if your child says he/she wants to learn more!)
  5. Be a Cheerleader! Show and tell your kids that you’re proud of the commitment and effort they’re making. Praise their successes. Mention specific, positive things they accomplish during practices and games. Point out new talents that are emerging, and ask them to teach you some of the skills they’re learning. And, of course, be ready to share encouraging words from the sidelines and after every game – whether they win or lose!

Does your child show any interest in playing a team sport?
You can share in the comments section below!

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