5 Ways to Support Your Child Athlete
Every parent of a child athlete has witnessed the one parent on the sidelines who can’t seem to remember that they aren’t living vicariously through their child. This parent screams, yells, and bullies, effectively turning what should be a fun afternoon into a stressful one. If you have a tiny athlete in the house, make sure that you are supporting him or her in fun, positive ways. Here’s what you can do:
1. Custom T-Shirts
Custom T-shirts are a great, low-key way to show support for your child. Get online or grab the fabric paint and create a T-shirt that leaves little doubt as to who your child’s fan is. You can buy a shirt in your child’s team color and add his or her name to the back. Include your child’s number if he has one and add an encouraging message. If your child is the type that is easily embarrassed, wearing a custom T-shirt can be a great alternative to screaming and cheering wildly from the sidelines.
2. Get Involved
Children’s sports teams always need volunteers. Look for ways that you can get involved with your child’s team. The league may need someone to run the concession stand, umpire, or even to host the team cook-out. Getting involved in your child’s team will show her that you care about what she’s doing and support her efforts.
3. Practice in the Backyard
Your pint-sized athlete will have practices, but practice won’t be held as often as it will be when he enters junior high and high school. To help your child gain the skills that he needs to perform at his best, practice in the backyard for a short time each evening as long as your child is interested in doing so. When practicing, focus on what he is doing right and offer tips to improve the things that he could be doing better. Practice sessions should be short, fun, and productive; they should never be stressful.
4. Socialize with Parents
If you aren’t the type of person who enjoys meeting new people, make a special effort to do so for the sake of your child. Socializing with the parents of your child’s teammates will set a great example for your kid. Part of belonging to a team is learning how to work with others. If your child sees you working with other parents, she is more likely to be willing to work cooperatively with her teammates.
5. Take the Focus Off of Competition
Your child will have time enough to compete when he gets to high school. For now, the focus should be on improving his skills, not beating the other team by dozens of points. While there is nothing wrong with wanting to win, there is something wrong with it being the sole focus of team sports at an early age. Make sure that your child understands the concept of sharing, team work, and good sportsmanship; these are foundations he can build upon as he grows up.
There are dozens of positive ways that you can support the little athlete in your life. By focusing on the positive, getting involved, and even wearing a custom T-shirt, your child will have little doubt that you are supportive of his or her efforts.
Evelyn Pierce is a freelance writer living in Santa Monica, California. She writes for www.tshirtprinting.org where you can find out more about personalised shirts.