1. Encouragement – Remember, you are a kid’s role model and they look up to you whether you like it or not. Showing and expressing that you are behind them and helping them along the sport means more to them then you know. A few words of encouragement throughout the course of a practice or game go far with each kid. Encouragement also goes beyond the sport and can lead to confidence in the classroom or with making new friends.
2. Follow Their Lead – No matter how badly a parent or coach wants the child to play a sport, the final decision should always be made by the kid. Forcing children to play a sport they do not love and living your dreams through them sets kids up for problems later in life. Forcing children to overplay one specific sport when they are younger could lead to them burning out, or getting tired of playing. The best approach is to provide your child with guidance and the opportunity to help decide what to do and fully support them throughout the journey.
3. Leadership – While teaching kids any sport, we all know that there are core values and soft skills that need to be inherited in each lesson. Leadership is now a very rare and hidden skill that not many adults even know how to master. Encourage good leadership by providing kids with a tangible item for memorable moments. Some examples may be saving a ball from their first home run, your kid’s favorite cleats, or trading pins (like ones available for custom purchase on tradingpinsdirect.com) from a little league tournament. Through youth sports, the role models of parents and coaches showcase leadership qualities that will last for generations to come. Not only will they make your kid a great young athlete, but they will get them on the right path towards being a better person.
4. Let Young Kids Play All Sports – Holding your child down to playing a single sport or activity may not be the best decision for them. Playing different sports and trying new things gives kids new skills that they could have never obtained if they had never tried them in the first place, and ultimately helps them out in the long run with their original sport. It is not healthy for anyone to throw a baseball year-round. Kids need to be kids. Realistically, multisport athletes end up being the best all-around athletes due to more exposure to different coaching methods and competition to help them better succeed.
5. Person First, Athlete Second – Sports are not life or death. It’s okay to show kids how important the game is to you, but at the end of the day, it is still just a game. Through sports, you teach young men and women the skills necessary to have a successful and enjoyable life. While it is important to have fun and win, it is just as important to hold true to your values and remember what message is being sent to the kids. Sportsmanship goes a long way. Teaching kids this plummeting trait now will lead them on the path to success.