COMPETITIVE SPORTS: TEACHING CHILDREN TO HAVE FUN WHILE COMPETING
It’s a terrific way for youngsters to have fun and keep in shape simultaneously. Sports can also provide valuable life lessons, such as:
- working together
- overcoming obstacles in order to become a better sportsman
- self-regulation of moods
- feeling good about what you’ve accomplished
But it’s not always easy to preserve your composure when the stakes are so high that victory feels like the only option. Help your young athlete maintain a positive outlook on sports and learn how to cope with the pressures of competition.
Monitor Your Stress Levels
Competing is never without its share of anxiety. Even a small amount of stress might assist the body to overcome a difficult situation. It’s true that a sport can lose its appeal if an athlete is under too much pressure. In addition to competing, there are a number of things that might cause athletes to feel anxious, such as:
- overbearing parent and coach pressure to win
- a lack of desire to participate in the sport due to time constraints
For those who are suffering too much stress while competing, consider the following:
- Making the shift from a focus on winning to a focus on effort and attitude. Ascertain whether or not the trainer holds the same viewpoint as you.
- Take a look at your family’s upcoming events. Consider restricting practice time or simply participating in one sport or activity per season if your youngster is overburdened by multiple commitments.
- Find out why your child is no longer interested in participating in the sport and come to a resolution together.
Stress in Sports: How to Manage It
It’s critical for children to learn how to cope with the stress of participating in sports.
The best method to find out what works for them is to experiment during practice. They could try:
- Inhale and hold your breath for about five seconds, then slowly exhale. You should try it five times.
- Extensive contracture (flexion) of a set of muscles. For about 5 seconds, keep them flexed, and then let go. After five repetitions, switch to another muscle group.
- Taking a vacation: Try to visualize a serene setting or an occasion. Stress is like a river that flows away from you.
- Think about executing a pass, shooting, or scoring a goal in your head.
- Instead of focusing on the future or the past, practice mindfulness by focusing on the here and now.
- Having a routine: Keep stress in check by focusing on the routine.
- It’s important to think positively and speak favorably to oneself. Saying things like “I’m in charge of my feelings,” “I’m learning from my mistakes,” and “I can make this goal!” can help you combat negative thinking.
When they’re not competing, youngsters should do the following to keep their stress levels low:
- Prior to a game, make sure you eat well and get enough sleep.
- Take a break and do something enjoyable. With a group of friends, going for a walk or a bike ride can be a refreshing reprieve from the pressures of the competition.
- Keep in mind that nobody is flawless. In sports, everyone makes mistakes; it’s an inherent part of the experience. Be quick to forgive yourself and move on from the mistakes you’ve made.
Sports are a great way to keep active, feel proud, grow as a player, and meet new people. Playing on the varsity team or in a weekend pick-up game isn’t as crucial as having a good time. In this way, you may teach your child to deal with the pressure that comes with competing.
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