It's never easy seeing our children lose a game. From the frustration, crying, pouting, even silent treatment, we sometimes feel like we loss the game just as much as they did. While its easy to overcompensate in comforting our little athletes by making excuses why they should have won, we sometimes overlook the importance of losing when it comes to sports.
Yes everyone loves a winner, its nothing like being number one but in reality, we all lose sometime in life whether we like it or not.
Just think about it... what are some of benefits of losing?
1. You learn from your mistakes.
2. It motivates you to work harder.
3. It gives you the opportunity to champion someone else.
These are all things that we must teach our little athletes so they can be the best they can be at their choice of sport.
As parents are kiddos look to us to find their way through tough situations and we have to be equipped to provide them the tools to help them through it. Here are three quick tips on how to assist your star athlete when he or she has loss a game.
Praise and Critique
Praise what your child did well in the game but also provide positive criticism on what they could improve on. Most parents are afraid to provide constructive criticism due to they feel they are kicking a child while their down, however, children receive criticism well if its delivered in a positive and healthy way. For example, telling a child "You sucked at defense and didn't try your best at all." This may not be the best way to tell your child about their performance. However, if you say " Man your shot was on point, you can also improve on your defense by putting your hands up more." This is a better approach to provide praise and critique.
Be The Example.
Show your athlete the importance of champion others. Let them see you
congratulate the opponent coaches and players. Let them see you make
conversation with the opponent fans. This will influence them to be more
aware of good sportsmanship and hopeful mimic the behavior in their own actions.
Validate Their Emotions.
Let them express themselves over a loss without judgment or criticism.
Losing hurts. It's not fun and it sucks. So if your athlete need to get off his or her chest some hurt and angry emotions, be that outlet for them to do so. Don't confuse anger with passion. Sometimes our little athlete can reach places of anger that can damage their reputation. It's great to allow your athlete to let their emotions out, but the key is handling their emotions in a healthy way.
Provide them with some quick and effective tools they can use when they feel like they are going over the edge. Fidget toys, breathing exercises, jumping jacks are all things used to help individuals deal with their anger, by introducing these different strategies to your athlete in the moment they need it the most, you can help them more ways than one!
Candice Lodree is a Professional Family Life Coach that is passionate about assisting families live healthy, productive and positive lives. As a wife of an athlete and raising little athletes, she enjoys providing helpful tips and resources to parents raising this and the next generation of athletes.