Raising A Good Sport

Now that I am deep in the throes of both football and baseball season with my sons, I thought that I would share with you all the MANY lessons I have learned. Let me start by saying this journey has not been an easy one and I have made my fair share of mistakes….

Early on, It was pretty evident which sports my boys gravitated towards. For example, one afternoon when I was picking up my oldest son from daycare, his teacher politely took me to the side and said, “Mrs. Watson, does your husband play tackle football with Seth at home?” I had a confused look on my face (keep in mind that my child was only 11 months old!). She went on to explain that Seth had been imitating football stances during their carpet time and attempting to tackle anybody who happened to be in his eyesight! His physicality grew over the years and his passion for football has remained. Spencer, on the other hand, is the polar opposite. He gravitated more towards baseball and began playing at the age of four.

That being said, here’s a list of lessons that I’d like to share with you…

  1. Try to expose your child to as many sports as possible- between my boys, they’ve played everything from soccer, lacrosse, and basketball. It just so happens that football and baseball were the sports that they gravitated towards. We gave up on trying to force them to keep playing the sports they weren’t interested in.
  2. Don’t badmouth the coach- I will admit that I haven’t always practiced this. However, I have learned that doing so has many negative repercussions. Your athlete will feed off that negative energy and take it with him onto the field.
  3. Try to avoid critiquing/criticizing your child during and after a game. Again, something I learned the hard way. Your child does not need another coach, especially after a loss. Instead, if you feel the need to say something, try to wait until the next day. I have also learned to feed off of my sons. If they ask my opinion about their game/performance, I give them honest feedback but I make sure I am positive and loving with my comments.
  4. Don’t take these sports so seriously- This is a hard one. The competition is stiff these days and, the older my boys get, the more competitive it is. I am like most parents that would love for both of my sons to be able to get college scholarships playing a sport that they love; however, I don’t want to create a monster in the process. Try to find a balance. Get your athletes involved in other things besides sports.

Finally, I want to share this book that I found at my local library. It was buried in a pile during an annual giveaway. I saw Cal Ripken on the cover and grabbed it thinking it would be a baseball for dummies type of book. Turns out, it has some amazing advice in it, some of which I shared and more. I’m not even sure how old it is, but you can probably find it on Amazon. It is very well written and worth your time if you’re interested.

Until next time, thank you for stopping by…..