Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Winning Isn't Everything

Organized sports provide teens with a great opportunity for learning important skills and values. As a parent, the first step is finding the right sport and the right team or coach for your teen. Consider some reasons teens want to be involved in organized sports:

 Does the sport offer all players a chance to succeed, participate, and develop skills?

 Does it offer my teen a chance to have fun and be with friends?

When coaches and parents emphasize playing their best, never giving up, learning new skills, and having fun over scoring more points, youth begin to develop positive values about winning and losing. By seeing adult role models encourage team members to do their best and support each other and accepting each player’s abilities and limitations, teens learn respect for others.

Here are some tips for how your family can make the most out of opportunities to participate in sports activities:

 Discuss how family members can set realistic goals.

 Help your child develop a lifelong commitment to an active lifestyle.

 Encourage your child to play because he or she enjoys it.

 Allow your child to be involved in the decision making around sports. Support your child’s decisions.

 Encourage your child to try various physical activities.

 Consider the age and personality of each child. Families may need to increase efforts to manage competition and its impact on a youth’s development.

A healthy balance of competition, cooperation, and having fun is important whether the child is competing with himself or against others. Parents and caring adults need to work at creating an environment in which teens can compete in a healthy way.

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