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Tips Regarding Team Sports

By the time a child is a teen or tween, she has most likely already been exposed to her first team sports experiences. She may also have developed a strong like or dislike for them. Some kids try to avoid team sports, usually due in part to poor experiences in the past. From overly harsh coaches to pushy parents, many kids run from team sports because of the pressures involved.

Team sports should be about learning to work together, as a team, and about learning good sportsmanship. Yet team sports often become a place for fierce competition, which is often generated by parents on the sideline and not from the actual players. In order for parents to help kids continue to enjoy team sports, they need to pay attention to what is happening both on and off the field.

Tips to remember about team sports:

  • Avoid pushing your child into team sports. If she would rather not play them, help her choose a non-team activity in which she can get involved.
  • Get your child involved in deciding what type of team sport she wants to do. This way, she will be more apt to play and stay involved.
  • Put more of the focus of team sports on fun, camaraderie, and learning to play together as a group than on competition.
  • Keep your emotions in check, especially if your child or her team is not doing well.
  • Avoid being one of those parents. Focus on the positives and what your child is doing right. Encourage your child to try different types of team sports. One season she may want to play soccer, and the next, tennis. As much as possible, allow her to explore her options. If cost is a factor, see about picking up used equipment from thrift stores and yard sales.
  • Use a weekly routine schedule chart if you need to help her juggle her homework with team practices and games.

Team sports can create wonderful childhood memories, but they can also be a huge source of stress. Your child might feel bad if she feels she doesn't measure up to the better players on the team. Place the focus on fun and team spirit, and you will help your child enjoy the experience!