Each week ResponsibleSports.com offers the Responsible Sports community a weekly Parent and Coach tip of the week in our Responsible Sports Dialog section. This week’s Parent tip of the week focuses on communication between you and your child:
“Ask your child who his favorite teammate is and why.”
What is the first question that people usually ask children when they see your child, for example, wearing their sports uniform at the grocery store? "Did you win?" Many of us have been raised to put scoreboard results ahead of everything else. Sure, as Responsible Sports Parents we care about the scoreboard. But we also know that some of the lessons learned in youth sports can be invaluable as adults.
Instead of focusing exclusively on the scoreboard, Responsible Sport Parents can take a Mastery Approach to sports, where success is tied not just to wins and losses, but also to mastering physical and mental skills. That way, win or lose; children still can gain life lessons from sports.
There are three elements of The Mastery Approach:
1. Effort – we encourage our kids to always give 100%
2. Learning – we see sports as a way to constantly learn and improve
3. Mistakes are OK – it's how we respond to them that really matters
By asking your child who their favorite teammate is and why you can start a discussion about the importance of teamwork. Finding common value with everyone on the team, including those who your child may not be friends with, and teach them the importance of working in a group setting towards a common goal and how important it is to make an effort to get along with everyone on the team.
Check out ResponsibleSports.com for more conversation starters and tools such as the Introducing the ELM Tree of Mastery to your Child PDF.
Sports psychology research shows that teams and athletes who take the ELM Mastery approach (giving 100% effort, constantly learning, and bouncing back from mistakes) consistently win more games.
By moving our children's focus off the scoreboard results and on to their effort, our kids will be happier and more self-confident – and the wins will come.
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