Updated: Nov 18, 2020
Our children's mental health is just as important as ours. During this time in life, our children are struggling. Maybe it is through, fatigue, outbursts, anger...
One way to help, is support them in their endeavors. Though things look a bit different, find ways to make it work. Whether music, art, or like below sports--help your kids find their "WHY" in this challenging time.
...until next time, IrishDoc07
What’s Your ‘WHY’ in Youth Sports!?
COVID-19 changed life the way we knew it back in March. Schools, churches, restaurants, stores closed, for a period of time anyways. And now, schools, churches and restaurants still aren’t operating business as usual. Though some find it controversial, I have to say, THANK GOODNESS there are youth sports options available! Some might find this confusing and hesitate to sign up. And although I am definitely confused about the world we live in right now, all I know is I am so GRATEFUL to have this option for my kids to get outside and play sports!
But WHY? Why do we all sign our kids up for youth sports - amidst a pandemic or otherwise? Because other people are doing it? So our kids can burn off some of that endless energy? So they can one day earn the elusive college scholarship?
As a former college athlete, college and high school coach, and club coach/director, I have MANY feelings and thoughts about youth sports - when to start, how many sports to play, travel/”elite” clubs, etc. When it comes to my own kids, however, the reasons WHY I want to get them into sports are 1) so they can have FUN and 2) to help them GROW.
Sports are, and should be, FUN. Being on a field with a team trying to accomplish a common goal - and getting exercise while doing it - is FUN. I look for programs for my kids (i.e. ages 3-6) that are full of games, positivity, and socialization. At the same time I’d like them learning from someone knowledgeable and passionate about the sport they are coaching. And the FUN isn’t just being had because they are playing games - I want my kids to have FUN when they see their skill improve. And of course it is always fun to score a goal and/or win a game or two!
Then there is the GROW part...oh the things that sports can teach! Social development, teamwork, resiliency, the value of hard work, discipline, how to win with humility and lose with grace...the life lessons are endless. Not to mention all the health benefits from exercise and socialization!
So as a parent... if on that first day of practice my kid doesn’t want to go...or feels discouraged because his friends aren’t there...or isn’t IN LOVE with the sport right off the bat, I remind myself WHY we signed him up in the first place (my oldest is a boy - hence the "him" reference!). I try to help him find joy in the journey and remind him about the importance of honoring our commitment...tell him it isn’t about being THE best, but about being HIS best. Watching him get a little bit better each practice, watching him work his hardest, just watching him be out there...makes me the MOST PROUD.
I hope we can all remember WHY Youth Sports are so important in our children’s lives. And if you aren’t quite ready to sign them up yet - hopefully you go outside and play a sport with them instead - in your own backyard or park! FUN and GROWTH for all :o)
Your sister in sweat,