Injuries can be frustrating for any athlete, however the mental approach taken by children during this time is likely to determine whether they go on to achieve their goals or simply give up on sport altogether. So, just how can parents help their child to recover from such a setback?
Those whose children have already been through some form of injury are likely to know just how challenging it is, with their spirits and motivation likely to take a hit in the aftermath. Missing out on a big match or just the enjoyment of training with their friends can have a significant impact upon youngsters, with the need for immediate gratification being heightened for kids.
The severity of an injury is also enhanced for children, meaning that they are often unable to look to the longer term and to a time when they will be pain free once again. As a result, parents should consider the following points, which can help to encourage young athletes and keep them from become depressed as a result of an injury.
Be sure to remind your child that setbacks are part of sport and that it is something in which they have the ability to overcome. With children sometimes lacking perspective in this sense, ensure that they remember the good times in which they have had when participating in sport in the past, even pointing towards hurdles in which they have already jumped over previously.
Parents should absolutely share their personal experiences when it comes to overcoming challenges, whether it be in the world of sport, business or elsewhere. Showing that you are vulnerable will certainly give children heart, while your honesty will also encourage them yet further. All top athletes have overcome difficulties in reaching the top, including injuries, with parents having to demonstrate that hard work and motivation is required in this area.
Injuries can actually provide an excellent opportunity for kids to take some time away from sport and relax and recover. Pain can often be exasperated when athletes try to do too much too soon, so parents should ensure that their child takes the appropriate amount of time off, which will often mean that they return to action at the best possible level.
Teach your child the importance of mental reps whilst injured, with this ensuring that they maintain some form of connection with sport. Mentality during time off can potentially be the difference between ultimately achieving their goals and losing motivation for sport, which is an increasingly common occurrence for youngsters. Being injured provides the chance to learn more about a particular discipline, whether it be through reading books or watching videos online. The value of having the correct mental approach cannot be underestimated.
For youngsters, sport should really only be about one word, fun! However, ensuring that organised physical activity is enjoyable is easier said than done, with everyone having different personalities and needs in this area. So, just how can coaches ensure that they consistently put on engaging sessions?