What’s Your Approach to Youth Sports?

By Janis Meredith | Posted 1/22/2019

Sometimes, youth sports can be rather complex. It’s easy for parents to get bogged down in the “mud”: worrying about playing time, your child’s position, unfair treatment, coaching conflicts, annoying team parents–the list goes on and on.

As a parent, you are faced with two options as you face the frustrations and challenges of youth sports: you can either pan for gold or get stuck in the mud.

If you take the time to pan for it, there’s gold nuggets in that mud, treasures of good character that glint through the hard stuff.

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Here’s the treasure you can find:

•  The great attitude your child shows even when they lose

•  The pass your kid makes to the person who wins the game, instead of insisting they do it themselves

•  The respect your child has earned from teammates

•  The understanding your child shows even when they’re on the bench

•  The way your child welcomes a new athlete to the team

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Perhaps you can list many more. But the bottom line is that there’s a lot of great things your child can learn in sports if you are the one who helps them find it.

Gold-digging is not easy. When you’re tired or busy or just plain fed up with circumstances, it’s much easier to get bogged down in the muddiness of negativity.

When you start looking for the gold and stop getting bogged down in the dirt, here’s what you will see:

Your investment will have a return. The money, time, and sleep you forfeit for your kids to participate in sports will not be just an exercise in keeping them busy.

You will smile more. You will lighten up because you will understand that the stuff that stresses most sports parents is just mud; they’re missing the gold.

You want your kids to grow into people that you like. If you allow it, the hard stuff they go through will crystalize into good character traits.

You’ll grow strong in your own character. Contrary to popular belief, youth sports do not just develop character in your kids; they also develop character in yourself.

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Chances are likely that your child will not become a pro athlete. They may not even play in high school. Every athlete’s glory days will come to an end, then what will be left? That’s why it’s important for you to have a positive approach towards your child’s sport experience.

Janis B. Meredith is a family and parenting coach. She provides resources to help parents raise champions. Learn more about how she can help parents Raise Champions.