Pushing your kids in sports can be good or bad. It all depends on how you do it. But let’s first start by changing the language to encourage and inspire your kids in sport. Your words have meaning. Instead of saying, “I need to push my child,” say, “I need to encourage and inspire my child.”
Encouraging and inspiring feel different. Pushing is more associated with aggressiveness. Doing it now and quickly. Encouraging feels lighter and wanting to develop opportunity and the best for your child. Pushing is pressuring and sends a nervous feeling and unconscious message to your child.
Pushing is detrimental and damaging to your child mentally, physically, and emotionally. Also, it can produce unwanted behaviors and lead to withdrawal when the pressure occurs in another situation. If you want your child to try harder, open their mind by teaching, encouraging, inspiring, and motivating them, that is the way to advance and evolve them to do, and want to do, better. It is more positive and constructive. The connotation of pushing is a narrow-minded approach.
8 Ways To Cconstructively Encourage Your Child
1) Take The Pressure Off Of Them
Let them have fun. When your child is having fun, it is easier to encourage them, and they are more honest about their feelings, likes, and dislikes. They are more receptive and learn faster because they will feel enthusiastic. If they are not having fun, don’t like the sport, or are pushing them, it is similar to putting a square peg in a circular hole. It just does not fit, and no matter how hard you force it, it just doesn’t fit won’t work. And, if your force it too hard, it will break.
2) Know Your Limit
If you show, do, or say too much, your child can become disinterested and lose motivation even constructively. It is too much information at one time for them to process, just like a thousand-piece puzzle. You dump all the pieces out on the floor and take a deep sighing breath. It’s a lot. But, you will need time to put it together bit by piece to construct the picture. Your child’s development is the same. If you have them do too much, it can turn them away. Little pieces of information at a time keeps them motivated and involved, developing and accomplishing steps to complete a greater whole and purpose.
3) Give Your Child Accolades
Accolades and praise nurture their motivation and confidence whether they play well or badly. Don’t condition your praise. Say things like, you played your best out there today. You were great today. You gave it a great effort. These phrases can be used for winning and losing. This will help your child understand the phrase, “It does not matter if you win or lose. It is how you play the game”. It is more positive. It is self-reflective.
4) Go To Their Games
Your kids want you to watch. They want your support. They will see you are dedicated to them and their sport, inspiring them to be dedicated to practice and playing better.
5) Recognize Their Ability, Skills, and Talents
Develop your child by attending sport-specific camps, clinics, or hire specialized coaches to nurture and evolve their abilities and skills.
6) Encouraging Your Athletes To Have Fun
Once you get to the point where your child has accepted to play and is having fun, now you can encourage and challenge them. It is based on timing. If your child is still deciding to play, or not having fun yet, you may introduce something advanced too quickly and turn them off. Let them self-discover skills and concepts of their sport and introduce ideas at the right time. This will keep them curious and motivated and develop good behaviors. It reinforces itself to want to do better and improve skills.
7) Take Your Athlete To A Professional Game
It is always exciting for your child to imagine themselves playing professionally one day. It will be great to inspire them by watching professionals play. They can observe and learn new moves and strategies on their own by watching professionals and associate themselves in the sport professionally.
8) Use Social Media To Show Concepts and Ideas
Connect them to some professionals on social media to see how they play and train. When your child observes new techniques on social media or from a professional, and you see they are interested, you can ask them if they want to learn to do that and find the means of teaching them.
When you push your child, it tends to lose efficiency and effectiveness that resorts to rewarding to win, being hard on the child to learn quickly, bothering, or nagging them. Let them learn for themselves and develop their identity. Most parents try to develop an identity for the child that does not work well and creates resistance. Be the unconscious facilitator with your words and actions so they feel you are encouraging them and offering them a choice, not pushing them to make a decision, or do something that you want them to do.
Remember, you are trying to get the squirrel to take the nut from your hand. So, it would help if you were relaxed so they can continue to trust you and move forward. An introduction is a best and most constructive way to encourage. It is also an excellent way to understand your child and what direction you need to ramify based on their likes, interest, and reactions.