How to Help Your Kid Be One of the Best Players on the Team

You want your child to build self-esteem and learn how to play well with others, so you sign your kid up for team sports.

How can you help your kid be one of the best players on the team?

Show up with the right attitude

Teamwork of any kind teaches valuable lessons about working with others. Kids who play team sports learn about reliability, honesty, and how to communicate with others.

One of the most important concepts they learn is that a positive attitude can help them improve not only their performance but also the overall performance of the team. People are more likely to listen to the person with a positive attitude rather than someone who is negative.

Taking a positive, can-do attitude to practice and the game will help others see your child as a leader and possibly one of the best players on the team.

Right sport, right team

Sometimes being the best on the team means playing the right sport.

Everyone in your family may play ice hockey, but if your child can’t learn how to ice skate, hockey might not mean his thing.  Football and lacrosse both teach confidence and teamwork, but lacrosse may be better suited for kids smaller in stature.

Find the sport best suited for your child, and she or he may become one of the best players on the team.

Plenty of positive praise

Playing on a team takes a lot of effort. Sports psychologist Jonathan Fader, Ph.D., recommends that parents praise what is in the control of the athlete: “focus, drive, and energy.”

Anything else, like the number of points scored, is a result. By pinpointing personal strengths, you’re commenting on what you kid brought to the game – even if the team lost.

Encourage your child for doing his or her best, but be specific about it. “Good job” isn’t helpful when it comes to improving performance, but “the short steps you took while sliding across the court helped you keep your balance when you reached out to catch the ball.”

Keep practicing

Most people can’t pick up a musical instrument and play it well right away. They practice. The same is true for running a marathon. Runners build up their strength and endurance before competing in a marathon.

To help your kid be one of the best players on the team, encourage him or her to practice on a regular basis.

Practice can’t be half-hearted or something a child does just to go through the motions. Practice must be targeted at specific skills, and it needs to happen outside his or her comfort zone.

Playing team sports has many benefits. By helping your child be one of the best players on the team, you’re helping him or her to reap long-lasting rewards.

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