Coaching Your Kids from the Sidelines

The Marks Law Firm, P.A. wants to encourage parents to get their children involved in sports.  Especially when a family is going through dynamic changes such as a separation or Divorce of the parents, the children often need the positive benefits that come from team activities and physical action.

Participating in sports helps children develop a number of qualities that will have lifelong benefits. Studies suggest that participation in sports can help children learn responsible social behavior and gain an appreciation of personal health and fitness.

Along with the appreciation of personal health and fitness, sports will give children the right amount of exercise to keep their bodies healthy, happy and in good physical shape. Regular physical activity also helps the body manage stress, which can result in better school performance and improve your child’s ability to respond appropriately to daily challenges.

In addition to these benefits, team sports give children a sense of belonging.  Below are some tips to help parents build confidence and good character in their children through sporting activities.

Setting an Example for Your Child

* Teach good sportsmanship.  Be a role model to your child and other parents. Offer words of encouragement to your child, his or her teammates and their opponents.

* Be respectful of everyone.  Show respect for the other team, the coaches and the officials.  Avoid criticizing a child’s athletic ability, a coach’s decision or an official’s call on a play.  Keep this in mind when attending athletic events and watching sports on TV with your child as well.  If you have a concern about a coach’s particular style of coaching, politely bring your concern to the coach’s attention after the game.  You may want to volunteer to help coach during the next practice.

Building you Child’s Confidence and Motivation

* Focus on effort, not results.  The message to “win at all costs” can put a lot of pressure on a child.  Regardless of the final score, your child should feel proud that he or she played their best.  Let children know when they had the right idea or made the right decision in the game even if it didn’t result in a score. Let your children know they always winners in your eyes.

* Extra Practice. If the coach brings up an area your child needs to work on, help them practice at home and offer lots of specific encouragement.  Occasionally plan to stay after practice for an extra 10 or 15 minutes so your child can get a little extra time with their teammates.  This encourages social development and team building.  If your child is having trouble, also make sure to communicate with them and make sure no other teammate is bullying your child or making fun of them.  This could also be a result of your child not playing well.  If this is the case, make sure to contact the coach in a private setting so they can handle the problem.

–Excerpt taken from the Pinwheels for Prevention- 2011 Parent Resource Booklet

There are so many different outlets for you and your child to choose just the right sports activity for them.  From soccer to karate to gymnastics and beyond, the possibilities are seemingly endless.  The Marks Law Firm, P.A. wants to be a resource for all things that build a healthy foundation for families.  Below are some links to local and national establishments that offer different sporting activities to the public.

Central Florida YMCA

Orlando Kids Directory

National Alliance for Youth Sports

Parents Connect

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