Organized sports can do much more than we imagine for the development of a child. They help them build character, while also discovering their strengths and weaknesses. They also encourage them to build strong bonds, and learn cooperation among other things. But one aspect of sports that can be the most beneficial for children is learning how to battle through adversity.
Sports can teach children how to step up to a challenge, how to deal with pressure, and how discipline, effort, and resilience eventually leads to progress. Resilience and determination, however, are things that often have to be taught and nurtured, and can easily start eroding without the proper support. Let’s take a look at how you can develop these qualities in your kids through sport.
Do Not Express or Show Disappointment
A lot of people, for some reason we still don’t understand, think that openly expressing their disappointment to a growing child is somehow going to make them better. But this is the time when they’re starting to build their character and sense of self. When it has already been established and they have a clear idea of who they are, their strengths, and their weaknesses, healthy criticism can lead them to push harder. However, when you do so when they’re still young, they might start internalizing the criticism and start thinking that’s who they are.
This should be the time to start building up their character by focusing on what they do best. It doesn’t have to be performance-based either. Maybe they’re fast learners or great team players. Play up to their strengths and it will become part of who they are. They will then be better able to accept criticism, and it won’t demoralize them as much.
Choose the Right Sport
Not all children were made to play football or hockey. Maybe that was the sport you had imagined for them, but you should pick a sport that fits their personality.
Sports like baseball, for instance, are one of the best for a growing child. For one, it’s a very low impact sport. Second, it can cater to all sorts of different personalities. All roles are important, and there’s not one person, or a group of leaders, that has to carry the whole team. All players learn their value and truly work as a whole. They also all get to realize themselves, and get individual praise when they do something good, which is great for building confidence and character.
If you think baseball would be a good idea for your child, we suggest you start looking at equipment. It all starts with a great bat. The type of bat you choose will make a huge difference in how comfortable they are, and how they perform. Youth bats made for little league players have to fit a certain standard, so make sure that you do your research on them, and try as many as you can until you find the best one for your child.
Teach them to Accept Failure
Failure can be tough for any child, but a lot of this has to do with your attitude towards it. You have to teach them that it’s normal to fail and that it’s a part of growing. They might not take your word for it, but they will listen to their favorite players if they say it. So, try to find quotes from famous athletes about failure, or watch documentaries on major athletes who were once failures. This will teach them that everybody fails, but that you can also come back from failure and become great.
There are all tips that you can use to instill resilience and determination into your child through sports. Make sure that you remind them that sport is about having fun first and foremost. Let them make their own decisions, and don’t not use them as a tool to vicariously live your own dreams.