All too often, parents get caught up just focusing on their teenager’s grades, friends, job, while athletics get tossed on the back burner. Last I knew, the back burner was used to simmer your spaghetti sauce, not athletics. Entering high school is a pivotal time in your child’s life, both mentally and physically. Athletics are one of the more important developmental elements to your child’s future. How are we as parents, supposed to take our children’s athletics more seriously?
The best way to start taking your child’s athletics seriously is by encouraging them to participate in multiple sports. Far too many parents subject their children to the pressure of specializing in one sport all year around. Naturally, parents want their kids to be the best they can be, even if it’s at one skill. The problem with this is when a teenager focuses on one sport all year around, injuries occur at a higher rate. Your child’s body needs time for rest and recovery. Playing multiple sports allows your body to exercise different muscles through the different movements involved in each, giving your other muscles the recovery time they so desperately need. Encouraging your child to play multiple sports is key for their future.
One of the greatest coaches in NFL history, in my opinion, Bill Belichick, has mastered many of the fundamental qualities it takes to get the most out of every player he coaches. One of the essential qualities he possesses, that you as a parent must harness, is never overreacting or underreacting. For example, jumping down your kid’s throat for a miss-play or bad game only hurts their development. Taking a more positive approach, finding a learning experience in every loss or bad play. Now, on the opposite spectrum, you don’t want to underreact in certain situations either. If your child starts becoming sloppy, showing up late to practice then you must be heard as a parent. Let them know to take their athletics serious and more importantly, take responsibility for their actions.
Growing up, and to this very day, I’m never satisfied with losing. As a parent, if you’re going to take your child’s athletics seriously then your child must as well. The main purpose of every sport is to win. If your child is playing multiple sports like I encouraged earlier in the article, then they may become complacent with losing knowing they have another chance in another sport. Name one successful person you know who is satisfied with losing; I bet you can’t. That’s because successful people are never going to be satisfied with losing and neither should your child. Now I’m not saying to teach your child to be a poor sport, but show them the value of winning so they take athletics as serious as you.