When you were younger, you had the all-encompassing dream of playing pro sports. Now, your child is expressing the same interests. Maybe you weren’t able to make it happen for you, but you want to put your all into creating opportunities for your child that you didn’t have. How do you go about that and does your child really have the talent to take them that far?
Pressure and Starting Out Young
When your child is young, this is when you may first notice an innate ability to catch a ball or figure out a strategy that’s advanced beyond their years. While it’s a good idea to encourage this natural-born skill, it’s also equally important to not overdo it. Don’t put pressure on your child to perform at elite levels all the time. Younger kids don’t always handle pressure well, and it can deter them from playing the sport altogether.
When your child joins a league or joins a school team, this is the first time they’ll be faced with competition, in more than one sense. Not only are they playing other teams with the ambition to win, but they’re also playing alongside their teammates, some who may be more skilled than they are. This can lead to a drop in self-confidence, and for some, it may even diminish their desire to play.
When faced with this situation, parents should take every care to boost their child’s enthusiasm. Every kid has a different set of talents and works well in different positions. If your child is struggling, maybe a change in their role can help. However, unless you’re a coach, don’t try to interfere, this is one lesson that your child has to learn for themselves.
Pursuing Sports in College
During high school, it’s not unusual for college scouts to take notice of those who stand out. If your child is a star on their team, with interest in pursuing college athletics, consider looking into sports recruiting resources. The more knowledge you have about the process, the better you’ll understand how scouting and athletic scholarships work.
Does Your Child Have What It Takes?
One of the main factors to a successful sports tenure, whether it’s during childhood or a lead-in to a professional career, is talent. However, no matter how much of a natural ability one has, without the dedication to perfecting their skill this talent will inevitably go to waste.
If your child doesn’t put in the time and effort to improve, they likely won’t make it far beyond the high school sports level. In the same token, those who may not have the natural ability but dedicate themselves fully to the sport often exceed expectations.
Team play is also important. Being selfish only holds back a team, which also hinders morale, which is why the phrase “there’s no I in team” is so popular. There are many benefits of playing team sports, most of which directly affect a person’s personality and overall health. Teaching your child the benefit of being part of a team, rather than focusing on being the hero or the star, will reap benefits in the long run.
This infographic was created by Axio Athletic, provider of fastpitch softball uniforms
Lack of Effort
Sometimes, despite their talent, your child may not have any interest in playing beyond their backyard or leisurely with friends. Despite your hopes, you’ll have to learn to accept this rather than pressure them into continuing. Adding too much pressure will only be detrimental to your relationship. Instead, understand that it’s not about you and has everything to do with what you’re child is comfortable with.
Sports are a great way to build your overall health, which is why so many parents push their kids to join teams and leagues. However, if you’re looking to the future with hopes that your child will be a pro, you’ll have to ask yourself the important questions: do they really have what it takes, and more importantly — is it what they want?