In a world in which sport has more importance and moves more money, we tend to forget that the children and young people are the ones who practice it the most. Sporting activities come with lots of physical benefits, help emotional development and contribute to the development and acquisition of fundamental values, especially for children.
Just like every other aspect of young people’s lives, parents are essential in helping to bring out the best in children when playing sports. The coaches, club, and teammates together with parents form the environment and optimal conditions necessary to promote the adequate personal development of young people.
Throughout this article, we will teach parents some essential tips which will help them to prepare their children and build confidence in them when they are engaged in any sporting activity.
These are some of the guidelines that parents should follow to contribute to the progress of their kids engaged in a sporting activity, on or off the pitch.
Your behavior as a parent and your facial expression during the game matters a lot. Mind it!
In the world of sports, we are tired of seeing bad behavior every weekend by parents who go to the stands when they go to see their children at games. If you really want your child’s confidence and success in sports, then it will be important to maintain an adequate attitude and tranquility.
It is important for you as a parent to understand that when your kid is engaged in an active sport, probably a competition or training session, it has a way of affecting their personality as well. There is every tendency for your kid to develop sudden self-doubt when faced with challenges in the field of play. When feeling some bit of depression, probably on the losing side, he tends to look for a friendly face to provide him with the confidence and encouragement to continue in the fight; not a fight though, just a competition.
If all your kid finds when he raises his face to look at you is a father-coach who does not stop indicating game instructions in a negative way, the child will not take control of the situation and surely does not have enough confidence to make adequate decisions.
However, if on the contrary, he observes a dad with smiles written all over his face, then your kid will assume his role as a player and take solutions with greater self-confidence. A child needs to be encouraged by your behavior as a parent. Not just in the field of play, your behavior towards your kid back home plays a huge role in affecting his performance and confidence level in the field of play.
The bottom line here is; as a parent, you should be sensitive with your behavior when you have a kid actively engaged in sport. You will contribute a lot to building his confidence and get him on track.
Nutrition is very important; proper dieting is key!
This second point we are going to talk about is part of what coaches and trainers ‘do not see’ when children are at home with their parents. I prefer to call it ‘an invisible training’. No matter how you look at it, you can’t undermine the effect of nutrition in the success of any exercise. This goes a long way in saying that nutrition is also an important factor for success in any sporting activity. Imagine how heavy and fatigue you’re going to feel when you take in loads of high-calorie carbs just before a sports competition.
This applies to your kid who would be stepping out to join his mates on the field of play, it doesn’t matter what type of sport it is. It’s almost impossible to try to encourage a kid who’s already heavy with high-calorie diets and expect him to pick up.
We must control what our children eat throughout the day, especially when they develop sports activities. It is fundamental to educate our children to make five daily meals where the variety of nutrients is ‘the main dish’. You have to know how to eat everything.
As is well known, it is important not to abuse sugars and saturated fats. For example, it is better to have your kid eat a small ham sandwich with tomato juice or a piece of fruit before doing physical activity or sports to go easy and buy a chocolate donut.
To build the needed confidence during sports activity, you also need to work on your kid’s diet intake. You can place him on a diet and subtly ensure that he sticks to it. You may not be the best coach for your kid but you could make the best nutritionist and encourage his confidence. Try it!
Designing a schedule of activities helps
There is no better way to create security in a child than letting him know when an activity begins and ends. Designing a schedule of activities will be essential if you actually want to help your child develop strong self-confidence. In addition, it is important to instill a sense of time, to know the time at which one or another activity takes place. Though most people think it’s the sole job of the coaches, that’s not the case. In fact, it’s a bonus for your kid if you help him organize his time and schedule.
As a parent, you also need to ensure that you don’t saturate your child with too many extracurricular activities (classes in English, French, swimming, football, basketball, etc.). This is because there’s every tendency to make them develop so-called mental fatigue. The consequences can be the following: falling asleep in class sessions, lack of energy, little attention to the coach, lack of concentration in the study. Apart from the sporting activity, your child tends to exhibit poor school performance, which could kill his moral and confidence. We must never forget the time of study or free time or also a game call.
It is important to help your child to have his schedule regulated and well laid out, as much as possible. This way he has a good view of the entire process, and there’s every possibility of developing self-confidence.
Encouraging study helps with confidence
Normally a child who practices sports usually has problems when it comes to organizing study time. Either because the schedules of the training are not the best and they split the afternoon or for the mere waste of time. As a parent, you need to encourage your child to study too and let him know that studying allows them to develop intelligence, and will also help them to develop with more skill which is a vital aspect of the sports qualities for which they train.
Establishing study periods of 45 minutes will allow the child to optimize his study. Knowing the time you have to develop the task, will provide greater security and motivation in order to finish it because you know that once you finish you will have free time to play. If necessary, you can include as many 45-minute periods as necessary.
Encourage responsibility and autonomy
This last point we’re going to be talking about here is really fundamental in order to develop a personality where security, trust, and decision-making take a leading role.
As a parent, you must teach your child, from a very young age, to be responsible and take certain tasks from home: make the bed, put and remove the table, organize his school bag and sports etc. By encouraging him to regularly perform these little tasks, you’re sure to build some sense of responsibility. This is very important in building confidence. Even when he finds himself on the field of play, he understands that taking responsibilities is quite important.
On the other hand, we must educate our children to be more autonomous. How do you achieve this? Well, we can teach them to wash their teeth alone, to dress, shower, tie their shoes, prepare breakfast, etc. Little by little, we must increase the level of autonomy. This will help develop higher levels of self-confidence and security, as the child will be able to do more and more difficult tasks even in sports and competitions.
To conclude, to ensure that you go home happy with your kid after a sports session, you as a parent have some important roles to play. These tips would help out to build the needed confidence in your child when playing sports.
However, it is essential that both parents and coaches row in the same direction and use sport as a motivational method to develop those behaviors that will provide the child with an enriching knowledge essential for their personal development.
It is important for parents to instill in their children that going to train is a responsibility and a commitment that one has to acquire.
Learn other ways to make an impact as a sports parent!