letkidsplayAs this season gets into gear remember the reasons that kids play sports:

soccer ball bullet list  To have fun

soccer ball bullet list  To do something they’re good at

soccer ball bullet list  To improve their skills

soccer ball bullet list  To get exercise

Study after study shows that winning is not the reason that kids play sports. It’s easy sometimes to get caught up in the moment but your words are powerful and can be very damaging. Advice is often perceived as criticism: after a game or practice think about whether your child would rather hear advice from their parent or a simple “it was fun watching you play.” By removing negativity from the dialogue you’re likely to find that your child will enjoy the game more and even perform better because you’re creating an environment where they can relax, focus on the things they can control and know you support them unconditionally. This will increase the odds that your child won’t become one of the 70% of kids that quit organized sports by age 13.

Games are fun but training is where kids become better players. Don’t get too caught up by wins and losses. Praise kids for their hard work (not the wins) because that’s the skill that will bring them the most success in life.

Don’t forget the big picture. Let them have fun! #letkidsplay

By Wendy Baker, Masters of Education in School Counseling, Life Coach, Soccer Mom