Summer Sports Parenting Tips – Make this Your Best Summer Yet!
In just a few weeks kids will be out of school and starting their summer sports schedules, making this a great time for parents to stop for a moment and think about some of the basics that lead to an optimal sport experience for kids. Regardless of whether your child plays in an advanced travel league or a more relaxed recreation league, the following sport psychology tips can help you get the most from summer sports:
- Plan out all games and practices. As soon as you get the schedule take a few minutes to schedule all your child’s sport responsibilities, which will likely include practices, games, and possibly other team-building events. By doing this, not only will your child get the most out of summer sports, but his or her teammates will be able to comfortably rely on your child being an active part of the team.
- Talk to the coach about family vacations. There’s a good chance your family will be vacationing at some point this summer, but do you know if your plans will conflict with your child’s athletic schedule? Unfortunately, some parents wait until the last minute to tell the coach about a family trip, which often ends up impacting all the members of the team in a negative way (especially if this leaves the team shorthanded).
- Emphasize responsibility. Being responsible is one of the biggest life skills your child can learn through sports! Help your child understand the importance of having equipment ready, uniform cleaned, and leaving the house on time in order to make the practice or game.
- Play safe. Learn as much as you can about today’s sports equipment and take the time to make sure your son or daughter is properly equipped. In some cases equipment just a few years old has already become “dated” by today’s safety standards, so make sure to invest wisely when it comes to the latest (and safest) sports equipment available today. It’s also important to keep an eye out for sports burnout — while not a physical condition, sports burnout can lead to anxiety, depression, and even reckless behaviors.
- Provide unconditional support, love, and reinforcement. Don’t just wait around to congratulate your child when she hits a game winning HR, but instead watch closely for all the little things she does that might otherwise go unnoticed. Some of these things include practicing hard, playing with integrity and sportsmanship, developing mental toughness, and being a great teammate. Do your best to positively reinforce effort, not just results!
If you are a sports parent do you have the Parents Tool Kit?