Some children are very “sports motivated,” some are more “sports neutral,” and most fall somewhere in between. Getting children that are on the less sports-inclined side of the spectrum to games and practices may cause some friction between the grown-up and the child. Maybe they even break down and tell you they want to quit. So, how do we give them that extra push to help them stay motivated and involved in sports? Here are some tips:
Finish What You Start
It’s okay if your child decides they don’t like a sport, but it’s important to encourage them to finish what they started. If they get through the whole season and still feel like it isn’t for them, then maybe it’s time to move on to the next thing. It’s the notion of “we won’t know until we try!” Offer up some encouragement, too. This can sound like, “You did a great job giving it your best today!” or, “I know you didn’t win, but I saw you hustling out there on the field with your teammates. Great job!”
We Can Do Hard Things
Remind your child that they can do hard things! Sometimes the desire to quit comes from a fear of failure. Even if their sport is hard or they aren’t a star player, it’s important to not give up. Giving gentle reminders that growing and improving is a process and encouraging them to try and follow through is important. Cultivating this mindset will help them in this sports season and all of life’s seasons beyond! Practical ways you can implement this could be a mantra you say together or affirmations in the car on the way to practice. Highlight examples of when they overcame their fears or tackled an obstacle successfully.
Take it Play by Play
Of course, we know all of these things are easier said than done, and there are exceptions to the rules. You know your kid best and if a sport is taking a toll on their wellbeing, you know when it’s time to call it off. Your child’s health, mental and physical, is always the top priority. So take it one day at a time and trust your gut!
AYB Can Help
At Arcadia Youth Basketball, our goal is to help form healthy athletes. We have an amazing team of professional coaches here at AYB to help guide your child and set them up for success. Our specially trained coaches offer each player consistent, fun, and high-quality athletic education, allowing each player to grow at their own pace with dependable support.