How to Help Kids Stay Motivated & Enjoy their Sports Experiences
It is critical for parents and coaches to help motivate children who are playing youth sports to stay positive and have fun. Too often young athletes get frustrated after they don’t meet their high expectations and then they proceed to give up.
Young kids feel like they need to get a hit every time they’re at-bat or make every basket they shoot. The truth of the matter is that these goals and expectations are impossible to achieve. It’s great for these young athletes to be ambitious and goal-oriented, but it is essential to their success that they set reachable goals.
When young athletes get frustrated it is often related to their expectations. They want to be perfect in their play when realistically all they are doing is setting themselves up for failure and disappointment. It is inevitable that children are going to drop passes or miss goals or make errors. It’s important for parents and coaches to understand that children’s unattainable goals can be detrimental to their experience.
When kids are constantly thinking about their high and often unrealistic expectations it takes away from their performance. They focus on achieving their goals more than playing the game and having fun. As soon as the child makes a mistake or two and the goals become out of reach, they get frustrated and sometimes tend to give up. Once they lose their confidence and their attitude weakens, performance drops along with their enthusiasm.
As sports parents and coaches, you need to help children establish realistic goals that can actually be achieved. Helping them improve on little things will add up to bigger achievements in the long run. Having high expectations that are rarely accomplished take away from a child’s confidence and overall experience with a game they are supposed to be having fun with. Help keep kids motivated by helping them set goals that they can reach. The sense of accomplishment that comes with successfully obtaining a goal will help build a child’s confidence and improve on their performance, ultimately resulting in them having an enjoyable experience.