Posted by Caroline on Friday, June 8, 2012 ·

Involvement in team activities is important for a child’s development and children who take part in team sports will develop skills that will be important in later life, whether in the workplace or in a social environment.

Communication, teamwork and a focus on a common goal are all necessary aspects of modern life. However, some parents put too much pressure on children to socialise or play on sport teams. There needs to be balance, some initial encouragement and suggestions are fine but forcing children to enjoy sport will build resentment and ultimately the child will reject sport as a hobby. Therefore, how do parents encourage team involvement without being too pushy?

CORRECT APPROACH

Begin playing games with children at a young age. The concept of a team will not be understood but all toddlers enjoy kicking a football to their father or mother. It is possible to tech basic skills to younger children although the understanding of teams or cooperation may not be possible until they are around seven years of age. You can choose any sport you like and your toddler will be interested in new activities. Age-appropriate skills are important, throwing a basketball through the hoop etc. Advanced skills will be possible, as they get older. All games should be fun and non-competitive and encouragement is needed -”good shot” or “good goal” etc should be in common usage. Parents should lose gracefully and demonstrate good sportsmanship. This will build the child’s confidence and encourage him or her to develop their skills. Always stop playing when they get bored, as all games should be fun.

CHOOSING A SPORT

This decision will be obvious and should be the one or several that the child enjoys most. This is not about parents living through their children’s achievements and fun is the most important aspect of sport teams. Ensure that the sport is played in your area and holds to the same principles as you do.

All your fine work will be for nothing if the teacher or coach involved puts severe pressure on kids to win trophies for the school etc. Ensure that a balance is struck, winning is nice but not everything. If in doubt about school facilities, then seek a local alternative that takes place outside school hours.

Picture: contrastwerkstatt – Fotolia

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