With an increasing number of youngsters experiencing either physical or mental tiredness as a result of physical activity, it is important for parents to ask themselves exactly why their child is playing sport, as this can often be the root of such issues.
As a result, we have outlined four questions in which parents should ask themselves when it comes to their child’s involvement in sport, with those who answer yes to any potentially needing to alter their mindset.
Question 1: Is Your Child Playing Sports Because It’s Convenient?
Coaches may often feel like they are acting more as a babysitter rather than a trainer, with parents sometimes getting their kids involved in organised sports in order to get a rest. However, with youngsters today having more and more commitments, involving your child in sport against their will is a recipe for disaster. Kids who pack their schedule with sport are unlikely to have time for free play, which is also hugely important for development and happiness.
Question 2: Is Your Child Involved in Sport Simply Because Others Are?
Whilst socialising is an important part of organised sport, children should not simply be involved because those around them are. Competition can often be a factor in terms of the team in which your child plays for or the sport in which they play, with parents often being worried about their kid falling behind. However, such comparisons can often see children play too much sport, as well as sucking the enjoyment from sport and regularly leading to burnout.
Question 3: Are Your Kids Playing Sport Just because You Did?
Many parents will take enormous pride in seeing their child following in their footsteps, however this should only be the case if they genuinely enjoy the sport and have the same passion for it. Those aiming to live through their child in terms of sport should undoubtedly take a back seat. Instead, be sure to regularly check in that your child is having fun when participating in organised sport.
Question 4: Is Your Child Playing Sport with a View to Turning Pro?
Whether it be making it as a professional or playing for the best team in the area, such goals should not impact whether a child partakes in sport or not. Outcome-based objectives place a huge amount of pressure and stress on youngsters, especially if they are being put through a large amount of training. A staggering 81% of parents believe that their child’s activities outside of school will one day lead to a form of income, with many splashing out themselves, whether it be on new equipment of private coaching. While coaches need to be realistic in this area too, parents ultimately have the final say.
A recent study has concluded that those involved in team sports are able to receive benefits when it comes to both endurance and power, similar to that of road cyclists and long-distance runners, along with sprinters and bodybuilders.
There are a number of reasons as to why youngsters stop participating in sport, which can be as minor as the call of a referee or the fact that they are simply not enjoying themselves anymore. However, understanding the thought process behind your child’s decision can help parents and coaches in terms of how they approach the situation.