Ever wondered how to motivate your kids in sports without being the crazy, overly pushy parent? Do you hate it when after a game, you gush praises of your kid’s performance but it just seemed to embarrass and annoy them? It’s like walking on needles!
You’re not alone. Every sports parent we know goes through the same struggle. But they have a secret weapon that helps them gently motivate their kids in sports.
The Secret Weapon: Appropriate Motivational Messages
Giving motivational messages to your kids is not as simple as saying “Great job!” There’s a lot more to it.
So what makes great motivational messages?
1. The timing and frequency should be perfect. The timing and frequency are a big deal. For example, after a game or practice, asking them too many questions may feel like you’re pressuring them.
So it’s a good practice to ask just ONE good question. “How’s practice?” or “How do you feel about your performance?” is enough to show that you’re interested and lets them decide how much or how little they want to share.
2. Positive but honest feedback. Kids are perceptive so they will know if you’re being sincere with your praises or just saying things to make them feel better. Exclaiming “You were the best player!!” when they’re clearly not will not make things better.
Find at least one good thing they did and say something like, “I saw how hard you worked on that move in the backyard. Your hard work really paid off”. If you want to discuss a room for improvement in their performance, you have to assess your child’s mood before doing so.
3. Consistent. Whatever tactic you’re going to adopt, you have to be consistent. Inconsistency creates confusion and may discourage your kid.
4. Messages conveyed through special gifts. Gifts with motivational messages are a great way to show how proud you really are because you went out of the way to get something special!
Here’s a necklace we’re offering that’s just the perfect gift soccer parents can give to their kids:
This necklace for soccer players is a great way to show your support to your little soccer player because of three reasons: (1) it’s fashionable, (2) it’s something they can take anywhere, and (3) the message is awesome.
You can give this necklace to your kid to serve as a reminder wherever they go that you believe in them and they should believe in themselves, too.
Here’s what some customers said about this necklace:
My 12 year old daughter loved it! Been playing soccer for 9 years. Perfect gift. Very nice quality. - Mary B.
My daughter loves this and wears it every day! - Janice B.
Is super Beautiful and my son LOVED IT a lot 💖 Thank you - Kathy T.
See more reviews here.
This is where most parents fail. Too often, we see parents pushing their kids into a sport that they just don’t like anymore.
As a parent, your role is to support your kids in achieving their goals - whatever it may be. It’s not to set your own goals and impose it on them.
Ask your kid what their sports goals are. Are they in it for the fun and enjoyment of participating? Or do they want to pursue a serious career in it? Whatever it is, listen to them as they express their wants and from there find ways to support their goal.
Here’s an infographic with more tips in being an effective sports parent:
The Perfect Balance of “Proud” and “Not-Gonna-Lose-His-Cool” Parent
One more thing to keep in mind when supporting your kids is to try not to be too much.
There are two polar opposites in the kinds of sports parents:
- The aggressive parents
- The passive parents
The aggressive sports parents are those you see losing their sh*t on the sidelines when their kids miss the ball. They’re the ones who tend to pressure their kids with too much expectation whether they’re aware of it or not.
And they're the ones engaging in brawls after a game:
Dads lose it after a youth softball game. By Jamey Fenton on Youtube.com.
On the other end, the passive ones are those who can’t give two cents about their kid’s performance. It’s either they’re scared that if they support their kids, they will communicate that their love is attached to their performance. Or they just don’t really care.
The aim is to strike a balance between the two. You want to show your support to your kid without being too pushy about it.
Go Motivate Them!
We hope you’re now more confident in motivating your kids in sports without being too pushy. Remember that communicating with them and being careful with how you deliver your encouraging messages are keys to having a fruitful relationship with them.