Competing in anything isn’t easy; it takes a lot of hard work and dedication, and even more for child athletes. They must be motivated, constantly pushing themself and putting everything on the line.
It will be tough, but if you continue reading, you can learn some of the best ways that you can support your child’s athletic dreams.
Make Sure It’s Their Dream and Not Yours
A significant issue that many child athletes face is realizing they were not the ones initially excited about the sport, and that it was their parents guiding them into it all along. It happens more often than you may think because the child often doesn’t fully realize it—they follow along with the motions, but instead of liking the sport, they like pleasing you. Take the necessary time to see if this is actually what they want to do and if they’re committed to giving everything it requires!
Focus on Their Mental Health
In addition to helping with your child’s physical skills and intelligence in their sport of choice, you should also make sure to give their mental health the attention it deserves. Investing in some athletic mental training can help ensure they have the mental skills needed to analyze their game and better understand their motivations. To be a great athlete, you need to excel on the field or court, but doing it day after day and not getting mentally worn down is even more important.
Teach Them Healthy Habits
To be a star athlete, your children need to be healthy, which you can help with. They’re going to be young, so their metabolism will look a lot different than your own; instead of letting them eat all the junk food they want, you can offer healthier alternatives. In addition to positive and healthy foods, you as a parent can also help them to establish good habits for exercise, sleep, studying, and mindfulness.
Let Them Lead
You can offer parental guidance to help your child in their athletic journey, but you must know when to step back and let them lead. They’ll probably appreciate you attending their games and giving them support at every opportunity, but it’s easy to become overbearing and tell them what to do. Your children need encouragement, but being over-controlling and becoming helicopter parents will only expedite their burnout with the sport.
With these tips, you can best support your child’s athletic dream and help them develop into well-rounded adults—and not just athletes. It requires a lot of work and even more patience, but it will help them in the long run, and it might even help you as a parent too!