You may remember when kids got physical activity simply by playing tag, starting pickup games of baseball, or even capture the flag. The fact that impromptu running around isn’t as common these days is only one reason to get your kids involved in organized athletics/, early on. Sports like softball, baseball and tee ball can build self-esteem, fight obesity and teach teamwork and discipline. But just signing up your son or daughter, and making sure their jersey is washed on game day, is only the beginning. Here’s how to succeed, regardless of the win-loss record.
Be a Matchmaker
Playing sports in these early years isn’t necessarily about a possible college scholarship. It’s about teaching them a lifelong habit of enjoying exercise. Try your best to match the activity to the budding athlete’s propensities and personality. Motivated, athletic kids may thrive on teams or in sports that will be a drag for less naturally inclined kids. A little research among other parents in your area will help you find the right fit.
Be a Training Buddy
Because you’re hoping to develop skills and traits like practice and hard work, set a good example; Hit pop-ups in the yard, play goalie in front of his practice net, help her oil her catcher’s mitt. Talk. Giggle. Have fun. The point is to move, and for them to see you moving and having fun.
Be a Cheerleader
Go to as many games as you can and be excited about whatever positive things are achieved, by the team and by your player. Talk through the tough losses. Finally, make sure they take pride in what they accomplished that season. That’s the best way to assure they’ll simultaneously reach their potential and have a good time. What better measure of success is there?