Parents of children playing sports, especially moms, play many important roles, many of which probably go unnoticed by your child, from arranging carpools to games to preparing halftime snacks for the team. But what about your involvement in the actual sports side of things? How can you help your child become better at the sport they play? Here is a list of do's and don'ts.
Do become educated
The fact that you are visiting MomsTEAM and reading this article shows that you want to educate yourself and become more involved with your child and sports. Spend time becoming familiar with the rules that govern your child's specific sport. You can't be involved in the sports side of things if you don't know what is going on.
Don't coach at the game
There is a time and place for everything, but trying to coach your child in the middle of the game, or even after the game when people are still around, is neither the time nor the place. Support your child and encourage them during the game, but don't try to outcoach the coach from the stands. If you want to suggest to your child a way they can improve their performance, resist the urge to tell them right after the game, or even on the ride home. Wait to make the suggestion until later.
Do be supportive and provide positive feedback
Be careful how you talk about their performance. Don't simply criticize; make sure that you list the positives as well. If handled the right way, this can be a really good bonding time for you and your child and if you are giving good feedback it will really help them. Always support them though no matter how good or bad they played. This is your first role as a parent and you need to make sure that your son or daughter always knows that you have their back no matter what. They need to know that their performance in no way affects how you feel about them.
Do find ways to help sharpen their skills
You don't have to be an expert or know everything there is to know about the sport to be able to help your child improve at their sport. For example, you could rebound for your son while he shoots baskets in the driveway or the local playground, or play catch with your daughter who is on the softball team. Not only will you help them become better players, it will also give you a chance to spend quality time with them. Just be careful not to overdo it; keep it light and fun, and allow them to develop at their own pace.
As a parent you can play an important role in your child's development as an athlete. Sports are a great way to connect with your kids, you just have to take advantage of it. Done the right way, you can really help them improve and make their sports experience a rewarding time for both of you. If you don't really know much about sports, it may be challenging at first, but you will get the hang of it and it will be worth all the effort.
Kyle Ohman is a former professional and Division I college basketball player, high school basketball coach, and co-owner and founder of www.BasketballHQ.com. You can like him on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Basketballhq and on Twitter @basketballhq.