Sports like gymnastics and youth soccer offer unparalleled opportunities for children. They encourage kids to be healthy and get exercise while promoting their emotional and social development — skills that will serve them for a lifetime. Unfortunately, not every child is enthusiastic about sports. If you want to encourage your child to get engaged, here are a few tips to get you started.
How to Improve Your Child’s Experience
1. Help With the Basics
An experienced coach will teach your child a lot at youth soccer or volleyball practice. Unfortunately, their attention will be divided. Spend some one-on-one time with your child working on their basics, such as dribbling a ball or aiming kicks and throws. If you don’t know how, look up videos online.
2. Ease Up on the Pressure
You want your child to succeed, but if you get too focused on the scoreboard, you will stress them out and make the experience less enjoyable—which, ironically, will make them play worse. Maintain a stress-free environment by relaxing and recognizing that wins and losses aren’t important.
3. Set Realistic Expectations
Most children are not basketball MVPs or youth soccer stars—and those who are don’t start out that way. Help your child understand that achieving their goals requires hard work and practice—and then make sure practice stays balanced with other activities for a healthy lifestyle.
4. Listen to Your Child
It’s important to encourage your child to take on challenges they might not seek out on their own, but you should also tune in to their needs and desires. If they dislike their sport or are getting burnt out, take that seriously. Changing sports or taking a break may help keep them engaged in the long term.
5. Don’t Compare
What other children do has nothing to do with what your child can achieve. Comparing your child to others may make them feel inadequate and damage their self-image. Instead, focus on your child’s improvements by comparing them to their own past performance.
If you want to help your child enjoy sports and grow from the experience, try enrolling them in youth soccer with Beachside Soccer Club in Norwalk, CT. Serving Fairfield County youths ages five to 13 and providing connections to private leagues for older children, they offer world-class weekly training to help your child develop their skills both on and off the field. To start planning for soccer tryouts, call (203) 852-6969 or look at times on their website.