Friday, 4 August 2017

Published Friday, August 04, 2017 with 15 comments

The Coach Who Does Not Do His Job

Being a youth sports coach is a huge responsibility. Most coaches would agree. But this secondary school coach disagrees. Coach Rao is teaching Slalom Skating to a diverse age group of kids aged between 5-15 years.

“It is not a responsibility, it’s not a job either; coaching youth sports cannot be categorized as an obligation of any sort. Coaching youth sports is a calling, a passion”, says Rao.

It may sound a little dramatic but you can see it in action during Coach Rao’s practice sessions. He personalizes attention for each kid, he even personalizes training for each kid because all kids may not necessarily pick up at the same pace. While working on game skills, Coach Rao also works on each child’s emotional and mental bearing. He handles each child individually while taking care of the entire group as a team. This is an exceptional skill, and only a dedicated, passionate coach can do it.

“Coach Rao is like a third parent to my son”, says Sith’s mom. Sith has been training with Coach Rao since he was 5 years old. Coach Rao has been handling toddler tantrums, mood swings, growing phases and everything parents handle in a child. Sith is now 14. Coach Rao has practically groomed and nurtured Sith to become the athlete Sith currently is, and the athlete he is in becoming. Sith has participated and won in several national and international Slalom Skating competitions and has won several medals for his excellence in the sport.

Coach Rao strongly feels that every word and every action of adults has a very strong impact on the child’s mind. He advises parents on how to put up a model behavior in front of the child. He also consults parents on individual problems or concerns their children might be facing. This also strengthens the coach-parent relationship, which is the key to the success of a youth program.

And the best part is, Coach Rao makes his coaching fun and interesting for the kids. He jokes, plays and laughs with the kids. Kids love his classes. Most of them never want to miss a class, even if it’s an exam or the kid is unwell.

While training little kids for serious sports indeed is a huge task, but looking at the way this coach conducts it, looks like passion can actually change the way one does things, like turning youth sports coaching into a breeze.

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Friday, 28 July 2017

Published Friday, July 28, 2017 with 22 comments

The Ideal Youth Sports Coach

To begin with, there is no ideal youth sports coach. Different coaches have different styles, different philosophies, different ideologies and so on. There is no one type that you can pick up and label good or even bad for that matter.

That said, there are some traits that are essential in youth sports. even with different styles, philosophies etc., some essential elements for youth sports coaching can make your child’s sports training a success. Ensuring that these essential elements are there, the kid not only picks up sports skills but also picks up life skills that help in making a better person of your child.

Here are the things that you need to ensure in your child’s sports coaching, irrespective of the coach’s coaching style.

·        Positive Reinforcement

There are coaches who can get very irritable at the players. Disappointment can be justified, but taking it out on kids is not done. Seven-eight year olds cannot objectify yelling. They lose confidence and in some cases even get emotionally wrecked. Coaches need to have patience and know the art of positive reinforcement.

·        Talk the child’s language

Coaches need to talk the language children can understand. This includes explaining technical terms, simplifying jargon and also using a tone that can be comprehended by children. This also means that the coach breaks down instructions into bits and pieces such that children can understand well.

·        Set realistic goals for kids

Some coaches are very ambitious, which is actually a good thing, but that should not translate to putting undue pressure or giving false hopes to kids.

·        Communication with parents

If you ask coaches about sports parents and communication issues, most would say that parents are interfering, demanding and unreasonably critical. That being true to some extent, coaches also need to realize that parents are anxious about their child’s performance. A lot’s riding on it. a good coach would know the importance of communication with parents. In fact, coaches can collaborate with parents and delegate a lot of work that otherwise takes up the coach’s time and leaves little time for the actual coaching.

Many successful teams have been so because of the fantastic coordination between the coach and parents.

·        Teach children to lose, not just to win

A good coach knows the importance of learning to lose gracefully. It is obvious how the coach would react when the team wins, what you need to see in your child’s coach is, the coach’s reaction when the team loses. The coach needs to teach kids how to accept defeat, how to learn from it and how to emerge all fresh and enlightened out of the whole experience. This is not just a sports skill but it’s a great life skill too.
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Tuesday, 11 July 2017

Published Tuesday, July 11, 2017 with 8 comments

Want your Kid to Enjoy Sports? Do This!

Sports should not be a compulsion. Sports should be a passion, recreation or just plain joy. Sports should not drain energy, sports should revitalize it.

If your child is not energized before going to the practice, or is showing signs of depression or stress, or has to be literally dragged to her practice every day, you have a problem. Either ask your child to give up sports completely, because perhaps you are not seeing what the child is trying so hard to show you, she does not want to play mainstream sports. Or, you give up on your hopes and expectations from your child. just let her enjoy the game at her own pace.

The thing is, the day parents enroll their child into youth sports program, their hope rise and eventually expectations rise too. Then they want the child to perform well, win games, outshine others, get successful, clear the way to college scholarship and so on. Well this might work for some children who have in-born talent and can take the pressure, children who grow up to be star athletes, who grow up to play pro sports and have their career in it. But not every child is made to that specification. Majority of the kids do not end up in pro sports. So why force every child into it.

The dilemma most parents face is, how would they know if the child has it in her, until they push the child into it. Here are a few tips that will help parents ease off the pressure and let their child enjoy playing.

·        Don’t make victory the benchmark for success when your child is playing. Sometimes the fringe benefits are more important than winning. See what your child is learning. See if she is enjoying the game or not? Is she making new friends or building up on her emotional quotient.

·        If the child is struggling with the sport in the beginning, support her but do not force her in to it. There’s a fine line between motivation and emotional coercion.

·        If you think that only winning will motivate your child, you are probably wrong. Victory and success is usually the motivation for adults. Children can find motivation and joy in innocent things the adult mind may be incapable of processing.

·        Please don’t live by the notion that if the child is not good at a particular sport, the child is wasting her time playing it. The very fact that she is loving the sport means that she should play it irrespective of her level of skill
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Friday, 30 June 2017

Published Friday, June 30, 2017 with 7 comments

Tips for Parents to Handle Unruly Kids

Kids these days are so stressed and strained that they generally take to extreme behaviors, like aggression. Sports kids have that added pressure that can push them to the edge.

For parents, handling such kids is a big challenge. Although, there can no one-medicine that can cure this menace because different kids need to be handled differently, but here are a few general tips that can come in handy for parents to help them tackle unruly kids.

·        Do not try to control your child’s behavior or reaction. Control yours. You want the child to behave herself but you are the one who’s raising their voice, it will never work. Not for you, not for your child.

·        If you keep a calm and cool tone while arguing with your child, chances are the child will mellow down too. If you talk loud, the kid will talk louder to match it, or worse, will just walk away. End of discussion. But if you reason it out, hear the kid out, there is a fair chance either of you will agree, which is the best outcome that can be, for the family.

·        The minute you point a finger at your kid, she becomes defensive. The whole game changes. It becomes power struggle. Forget who’s leading. Keep your focus on the discussion, the motive why you are having this discussion in the first place. For instance, if your 14-year-old wants to go for a party, and you are not sure about sending her for you think there might be alcohol, keep your focus on your concern. Do not drag the discussion to studies and friends and college and everything else.

·        There are chances that you might be over reacting because of stress, chronic anxiety or sickness. Give that discount to your child also. Kids have their own pressures and tensions, which in their world are huge. So, if you think the child is over-reacting, think about what might be causing it.

·        Hear your child out. Listening is the best communication. It will also help build a positive connection between you and your child.

·        Think of your kid as a person, and not as an extension of you. The kid may not necessarily have the same personality traits, likes and dislikes as you. Accept it. And stop expecting the kid to become like you.

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Thursday, 29 June 2017

Published Thursday, June 29, 2017 with 3 comments

Getting Settled After Sports Break

Kids who have enjoyed a well-deserved sports break are usually enthusiastic about getting back in the action. Mostly, it is the parents who dread getting back into the hectic routine. If you are one of those parents, here’s a little help to get you started.

To begin with, do not feel guilty for dreading the starting of kid’s youth sports program. During the break, life is a tad bit easier for both, you and your child. It is just natural to resist getting in a rigid schedule, waking up early, getting to school, going to practices, diet regime, game days and so much more. Responsibilities increase, time demands increase, workload increases and commitment also increases. It’s definitely not an easy task.

Your task just gets even tougher when your kid isn’t enthused about it too. In that case, convincing the kid and managing her becomes a challenge.

Before the kid re-starts youth sports program, you need to talk to the child and let her know what would be different this year. Understand what is it that she wants to make the sports year a successful and memorable one. Ask her to list the following:

·        Ask the child if she has problems with the team, coach or anything else. Once the problem is pinpointed, a solution will come out naturally.
·        Ask your child if there is anything that can be changed to make the game or team better. You’ll be pleasantly surprised how clearly your child thinks.
·        Set hopes or goals for a successful sports year. List down all the things she wants to make it a great year full of achievement and learnings.

For parents, it will be challenging to get started with the rigorous routine, and considering that you child has grown by one year now, responsibilities will also increase. But it’s important that parents show enthusiasm and excitement for starting the sports routine back, because parents need to set the right example for kids. If you are still apprehensive, here are few things you can try:

·        Try and make a group of a few parents who can co-ordinate and share responsibilities, including carpool. It’s a win-win for everyone.
·        Create a time table, both for your child and for yourself. This way wasting time trying to figure out ‘what to do next’ will be minimized.
·        Try and socialize with other sports parents in the team; it would help in team bonding and moreover, it becomes kind of like a support group, that stands by each other in the thick or thin.

Since this transition from one sports-year to the next you are doing with your child, you share the same level of inertia. Getting started will be difficult. But the right start can make noticeable difference in your kid’s game. Remember in sports, attitude is more important than aptitude. 
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Thursday, 15 June 2017

Published Thursday, June 15, 2017 with 3 comments

Be The Parent Your Child Needs

Are you a parent whose kid is in youth sports? Do you meet other co-parents who have issues with the coach, the team administration or the whole athletic department of the school?

Well, the answer in all probability is, almost every single day.

The real problem is not that the coach, admin or the athletic department, although there might be room for development there; the real problem is that all of us have risen our expectations (and our egos). A coach has to be sensitive to child’s feelings (and the parents’ ego), so he cannot raise his voice in the game. He has to keep his tone appropriately moderated. “Coaching youth sports is an emotional experience. High passion and drama make the game worth it. You don’t get passionate players with moderation. It’s like robots playing in the field”, says Jim McNelly, an elementary school coach.

At the same time, kids are facing a problem because their parents and coaches have high expectations from them. Every parent wants their child to win. Every coach wants the team to win. For an athlete who is average, life becomes tough. For an athlete who’s good, it gets even more tougher. The sheer pressure of high expectations increases so much, that some kids even give up, forever.

And then there is the expectation of excellence. Parents and coaches have set the bar of expectations so high, that they do not settle for average skills. Every child who loves to play may not necessarily be a star athlete, but that does not call for taking the game away from that kid. Coaches want only the best players in their team. If you have recently been to a tryout, you must have seen the fierce competition kids are exposed to. It’s almost cruel.

But the problem is that, this is the reality. This is the world our children will live in. So how do we bring our children up differently. It would not be practically possible to ask kids not to be competitive or not push them to try beyond their abilities. Nor would it be wise to bring up your kids in a haven bubble.

Either of the extremes is dangerous. Being too competitive and victory obsessed has its repercussions. But then, lack of positive aggression has it’s lows too.

A good thing to do is, to flow with what the child is comfortable with. There are kids who have an in-born talent for something. Be the parent who sees the talent and lets the child use it. Some child might be naturally aggressive. Be the parent who helps the child use that aggression positively. A child might just be a beautiful human being from inside. Instead of killing her soul and trying to make her excel in something the child has no interest in, be the parent who lets this child be. Instead of forcing your aspirations on the kid, be the parent who lets the child spread their own wings and choose their own sky.
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Saturday, 10 June 2017

Published Saturday, June 10, 2017 with 43 comments

Football Cleats on Sale

Looking for football cleats for your kid? Here are some top selling brands that have discounts on these cleats. Hurry, so that you don’t miss out on the discounts. To get an even better deal, try the shoe in the store and look for coupons online. Buy online or in-store depending on the place offering a better deal. 

New Balance Kids' 4040 V3 Baseball Cleats

NOW:$39.99(11% off!)
WAS: $44.99

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Nike Kids' Alpha Shark 2 Mid Football Cleats

NOW:$29.97(25% off!)
WAS: $39.99

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Under Armour Kids' Renegade RM Football Cleats

NOW:$29.97(25% off!)
WAS: $39.99

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Nike Kids' Strike Shark Football Cleats

NOW:$39.97(25% off!)
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Under Armour Kids' Renegade RM Wide Football Cleats

NOW:$29.97(25% off!)
WAS: $39.99

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Nike Force Savage Shark Snake (BG) Youth's Football Cleats

NOW:$49.99(25% off!)
WAS: $55.00

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Nike Force Savage Shark (BG) Youth's Football Cleats

NOW:$49.99(25% off!)
WAS: $55.00

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Under Armour Hammer Mid RM Jr. Youth's Football Cleats

WAS: $44.99

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Friday, 9 June 2017

Published Friday, June 09, 2017 with 5 comments

How to Have a Positive Sports Experience

Have you lately been to game of your child where some yelling parent irritated the whole crowd? Or even worse, you were the one yelling and later are embarrassed at your behavior, or your kid is? It happens to a lot of parents. But that’s not what the youth sports is supposed to make of you. Youth sports is supposed to be enriching participation for proud parents and a positive learning experience for the kid. Soft traits that the child picks up in youth sports training are as important as game skills.Similarly, being involved and being able to contribute towards your child’s life learning, can be a delightful opportunity for the parent. So, every time you get carried away with your emotions, remind yourself, you could be ruining the whole ‘positive game experience for her and for yourself too.

Here are a few tips to help you control your emotional outbursts and have a positive sports experience, for you and your child too.

Think of the embarrassment you might be causing

There’s a difference between cheering and yelling. While the first may motivate the kid, the former might disturb, or cause embarrassment, or both. This emotion goes a long way. 11-year-old Ben got so disturbed by his father’s yelling on the stands that he developed social anxiety disorder, and required counseling to come out of it. Think of all those times when we were publically embarrassed by our parents’ behavior; it’s the same feeling or worse if your kid is sensitive.

Be an example you’d want your child to learn from

Children take after their parents. Take it with a pinch of salt. Everything, from your behavior to your reaction to situations to your take on people or your stance in life, your kids are picking up cues from all of it. While most kids pick up the ‘Dos’ in life, some smart kids pick up the ‘Don’ts’ in life leaning from their parents’ behavior, and in both the situations, the parent is at a loss. So, while you are so dedicated to your kid’s future, you might just want to do it right.

You, your kid and the coach, all are in the same team

Never put the entire blame on the coach if something goes wrong or you are not satisfied with something, definitely not in front of the child. First thing you need to bear in mind is that you and coach are both on the same team and are focusing on the same goal. There can be differences of opinion or suggestions, which can be talked and settled, but playing a blame game is really bad idea. If you lose faith on the coach, and if the kid loses faith on the coach, most certainly the whole objective of sports training will be a waste.
Create happy memories around games

Irrespective if the game was a loss or a win, cheer your kid, tell them you are so proud of her and you are happy she’s learning so much. Go out for an ice-cream or spend some fun time on your way back from the game. This will take the pressure off your kid’s head, and you’ll have a great bonding together. Good memories will create positive energy which will reflect in the kid’s performance.
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Tuesday, 23 May 2017

Published Tuesday, May 23, 2017 with 1 comment

Types of Bullying Your Child is Exposed To

Bullying is unfortunately the essential element of kids’ lives and there isn’t much we can do to avoid it. With increased exposure and redefined dimensions of friendship amongst kids, bullying has acquired many forms. To be able to make your child stronger and well-equipped to deal with bullying, you need to know the different forms of bullying that your kid is exposed to.

Verbal Bullying

In this form of bullying, although the kid being bullied is not physically hurt, but verbal bullying can cause serious mental and emotional damage that can cause life-long personality defects.

Verbal bullying includes use of cruel language, calling names, verbal threatening, intolerant comments about one’s physical appearance, religion, disability, family attributes, etc.

If your child is confident and positive, teasing or verbal bullying will not affect her much. Be there to talk to the kid when you see her mood swings, or see her tensed for a continued period of time. If she confesses of being a victim, talk her out of it, counsel her. Do not intervene directly until it’s very serious and absolutely necessary to do so. Give your kid the wisdom, serenity and strength to deal with verbal bullying herself. This will be a great life lesson that will come in handy throughout her life.

Physical Bullying

This form of bullying involves physical hurt or intimidation. This can include various forms of physical abuse like hitting, pushing, physical torture or inappropriate touch. Physical bullying can be pretty traumatic for the child and in many instances kids do not tell their parents. Do look for signs of physical hurt, injury or molestation marks.

If you do find signs of physical bullying, do not get emotional and take matters in your own hand. Involve the right authorities like school teacher or sports club coach and manager.

Cyber Bullying

Cyber bullying is getting a bigger threat by the day. Children are vulnerable to false rumors, tainted images, hostile remarks, mean comments spread across social media groups or cyber stalking. You need establish safe-technology usage rules for your kids. Establish age-appropriate on-line time limits. Tell your kids about cyberbullying so that they are aware and alert. Also, tell your kids to approach you if they become victims of cyberbullying.

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Saturday, 13 May 2017

Published Saturday, May 13, 2017 with 1 comment

Essential Life Skills for Athletes

Training in youth sports means so much more than just learning the sport; it’s about acquiring life skills that provide foundation to become sensible, confident, compassionate and a well-rounded grown-up. Here’s what your child should learn and be able to accomplish in life:


More than discipline, self-discipline will be one of the most essential life skills that your little athlete will learn. Making a routine and following it, preparation, practice, managing one’s own conduct, keeping stuff organized and thinking for oneself are some great skills that will help your child sort her adult life as well.

Problem Solving and Negotiation

There’s so much competition, negotiating your position in the team, handling team pressure, managing your way through obstacles and so much more is involved in a game that refines personality to make a sorted, achiever who doesn’t let anything come in the way of what she wants.

Making Decisions and Standing By Your Choices

Sports people get used to making instant decisions. They have to make on-spot choices on the field that would make or break the game and more importantly, bear the consequences of their choices. This eliminates lethargy, procrastination and brings sharpness, agility and the quality of judging consequences of actions.

Team Work, Empathy and Positivity

Whatever your child does in life, the ability to perform in a team and make contribution towards victory of the team will be perhaps the most important skills. Sports also teaches the sensitivity and sensibility of understanding being considerate to problems others might be facing or concerns they might be having. Your child will learn to help which is one of the most vital of human skills.

And the most important skill that youth sports will teach your child is positivity in all aspects of life.

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Friday, 12 May 2017

Published Friday, May 12, 2017 with 1 comment

How to Deal With Your Child’s Aggression

Does your teen talk back, yell, scream or even get physically violent at times? Does your tween often throw tantrums, behave inappropriately or answer rudely when spoken to? Has your child’s conduct started hampering her social life?

Unfortunately, this is a common problem that a lot of parents face. Most parents accept it as a compulsive phase that kids go through during adolescence, or as natural trait of boldness or confidence that comes innately with younger generation. But if you see symptoms of aggression in your child, do not ignore it. It’s a problem that needs to be addressed to, as and when it occurs. If a child is aggressive and disrespectful, chances are that this trait will only get worse with time.

Your child’s aggression is symptom of a problem and not the actual problem itself. Hence the first step towards dealing with your child’s extreme behavior is understanding the problem that might be causing it. Is there something at home that’s bothering your child? Is there a dominant spouse situation or insecurity that’s bothering her? Is she being bullied in school? Is she under peer pressure? Does she have inferiority complex? There can be so many other possibilities. Instead of assuming and thinking that you know the problem, observe and investigate to find out the exact root cause. Do not rule out the possibility of medical or sensory problems that might case aggression. Get your child tested.

Once you’ve established the reason, and while you start working on the cause of the problem, you will still have to deal with the kid’s anger. Here’s what you can do on a regular basis to curb aggression and bouts of anger in your child.

  • Give attention. Many a times the child might be feeling ignored, and many a times not. In either of the cases, spending some quality time with the kid would help. Kids tend to get insecure in stress situations, and some warm parent-child time would ease out a lot of creases in her life. Although, you will have to judge, how and when would the kid needs that sort of attention. Don’t force yourself on her, that’ll just worsen your kid’s situation.
  • Work with your child to nailing the problem. Don’t try and manage the problem all on your own, involve your child. Let her know that you are genuinely working towards understanding what’s bothering her. When your child is ready to trust you, she will slowly open up. Let her get to the comfort zone.
  • Do not combat anger with anger. When the kid’s in a moment of rage, do not try and control it with shouting, yelling or hitting the child. you would not only aggravate the situation but also set a wrong example.
  • Understand triggers and work on them. Find out what triggers anger in the kid. For instance, Sara gets really angry when she’s mocked upon. Even though, Sara’s mom cannot control the outside environment, she has asked Sara to ignore when someone says something rude, look in the other direction and count until ten before reacting. This settles the immediate outburst and allows Sara for some cool-down time. Similarly, you will have to understand what is triggering the aggression and find a way that works best for your kid. You will have to do this with your child’s help.

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Tuesday, 2 May 2017

Published Tuesday, May 02, 2017 with 6 comments

Does Your Kid Care Too Much or Just Doesn’t Care…?

If you are a parent reading this, remember how easy the world was when we were kids? We could ride bikes in the neighborhood unsupervised, we could climb trees, we could play the whole day without a care in the world; we could be kids. But today’s world is different and these are tough times for kids. There’s too much of pressure on kids, performance pressure, peer pressure, harassment & bullying, cyber bullying, drugs, fear, social media compulsion, and so much more. It’s actually painful to see little children suffer from acute stress, depression, anxiety and severe emotional and psychological problems.

That said, there’s a whole different world on the other end of the spectrum. There’s so much to do, so many career options to choose from, and so much of information available that kids can actually choose to live their passion.

Those are two ends, far apart. Average kid is usually somewhere in the center, drifting from one end to the other and back. Parents get anxious when they see their child on either edge, and rightly so. If the kid is too sensitive or anxious, there are chances of the psychological or emotional condition affecting the overallpersonality of the child, and on the other end, if the child is too blithe, chances are she might get too carefree to get a real career that can financially support her in living a fulfilling life.

The situation is real complicated and parents’ anxiety is justified as well, but the way most parents try and deal with it, isn’t. Most parents feel that to discipline their child or to make their kid care, they need to compel or constraint the kid. But actually, that does quite the opposite.

Kids cannot be coerced to care or become carefree for that matter. Instead of trying to get into your child’s shoes and trying to see things from their perspective (because in reality that hardly happens), it is essential that you clearly demark your child’s life from your own. You need to clearly define what are your child’s goals (and not your goals) and what are your child’s responsibilities (and what are yours). This will sort a lot of confusion for both you and your child.

Some parents feel morally obligated to advise their children. Parents should instead talk to kids rather than lecturing them because that is mostly where they lose them. If you want your child to be friendly and reasonable with you, you’ll have to be the same too. Talk, listen, laugh, share some real moments with your kid and it’ll change the relation the two of you have.

Lastly, but most importantly, if you want your child to act in a certain way, set the right example. Be inspiring and influencing for the right things. Most of the times we ignore our behavior and try and correct the same things in our children. We don’t realize where they are coming from.

Here are some important questions you need to ask yourself (and the answer lies in the questions only):

  • When you are anxious or stressed about something your child has done wrong or differently as you thought she should have, how do you react? Do you nag, compel, push, punish or yell at the child?
  • When your child is not doing something you want her to, what do you do? Do you cajole, insist, beg, bribe, yell, threaten to punish, motivate or give up on the kid?
  • Do you have loud discussions with your spouse in front of the kid regarding the way the kid is growing up or regarding her flaws? Is the kid often the topic of the fights?
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Friday, 28 April 2017

Published Friday, April 28, 2017 with 1 comment

The Responsibility of Being Sports Parent

Parenting a young athlete is exciting and tough, both at the same time. Excitement of the little you-know-what-happened-today stories or, those special moments when your little kid talks to you as a friend and even tells you a secret maybe, and those precious times when you see your little one play and fight it out on the field, all of these are amazing feelings comparable to none other. But, at the same time, keeping up that trust and staying a friend (who doesn’t turn into a parent all of a sudden), is perhaps one of the toughest things you’ll ever have to do.

Parent v/s Friend, What’s the Difference

A parent would advise, a friend would understand. That difference might not mean as much to you, but it means the world to the child. When you look at problems from parent’s perspective, those problems may seem too small or too silly, but if you get into the kid’s shoes, you’ll know, how huge that problem can be in their little world.

Parents approach to the youth sports is different, and for valid reasons. If the child has potential, parents want it to be tapped. They spend time and money ensuring the kid gets the right exposure and training that can help create a future for the kid. This a big responsibility and parents often succumb to the pressure, which translates into parents passing on the pressure, directly or indirectly, on to the child. They advise, expect, ask, demand, which is natural maybe, but that’s surely not the best way of dealing with young athletes.

Parents need to make conscious efforts to deal with kids in a way that kids relate to them, trust them and look up to them, and not avoid them, show behavioral or emotional problems. This is not as difficult as it sounds. Just by choosing the right words you can make a huge difference in the relationship you share with your child. Here’s a list of some of the magical words:

  • Hi – as soon as the kid comes back from practice, game or school, don’t start throwing questions - How did it go? What did the coach say? Did you win? How did the test go? Just let the kid get in the car, breathe in a moment. For all you know she’ll be the one jumping with excitement to tell you about what happened.
  • Have fun out there – Don’t keep telling your kid to win. She already has that pressure, from the coach, peers and of course from her own self. Relax her pressure by bringing down the expectation. Principally, if she actually enjoys herself in whatever she’s doing, her performance will be far better than what it will be under stress.
  • I’m proud of you – Let the kid have pride and confidence, tell her you are her biggest fan, tell her you love to watch her play, tell her she is beautiful in her unique way.
  • I love you – Tell your kid you love her in spite of whether she loses or wins. Tell her you love her for what she is and not for what she can be. Remove all conditions, clauses and sub-clauses, tell her you love her more than you love her achievements.
  • Can you help me fix this – Kids these days are more mature and sensible than what we were as kids, and with every passing generation it just gets better. Don’t treat your kids as kids, treat them respectfully as ‘little adults’. Whether it’s an emotional issue or a thing that needs to be worked upon or needs to be mended, seek help from your kid. The trust and dependency will do wonders to the child.

Hope this advice helps you as much as it helped me. Happy parenting!

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