As spring sports get into full swing (sorry for the baseball pun), it may be a good time for parents to take a look at how well they are teaching children the love of the game.
That is why we're doing it, isn't it? You take Johnny to baseball, Mary to soccer and then circle back for a later practice for Joey. The time, the effort, the cost are all for one thing: love. Love of sports. love of competing and love of your children.
Let's face it, most of us are not raising a future MLB player or NBA All-Star. We're preparing kids for the game of life through lessons learned in sports. (Though I sure wouldn't turn down any scholarships.)
Kids in the House, a Los Angeles based company offering a free website for parenting news and information, is focusing attention on parenting in youth sports out of a concern that it's not about the game anymore. It's about winning.
To help all parents get a handle on their competitive natures, Kids in the House is hosting a live Google Hangout broadcast on Thursday, April 23, (12:30 p.m. Pacific Time) with John O'Sullivan, Natalie Hawkins, mother of Olympic Gold Medalist Gabrielle Douglas, John Haime, optimal sports psychologist, and Kevin Lake, film and entertainment executive who is producing several sports-related films.
The website is also highlighting videos from O'Sullivan, a former player, current coach and founder of Changing the Game Project. The videos offer tips on how you can curb your competitiveness and focus on teaching your kids to love to play. His top nugget of advice is to avoid going over the nitty-gritty of each game, but just offer five simple words. "I love watching you play."
We've all been there. As parents, we want our children to know the glory of making the great play or scoring the winning goal. Nobody is saying winning isn't important. But when it gets to the point that you're criticizing your kids and/or his or her coaches and teammates, it may be time to take a step back. After all, who is that really helping?
Before you go to your next game, check out some of these tips from the experts. We are, after all, on the same team.