Teaching Kids About Healthy Competition

All too often we see articles about parents who act inappropriately at their child’s sporting events. Your little leaguer isn’t pitching for the World Series. They’re learning new physical and emotional skills, both of which are important when it comes to teaching kids about healthy competition. Young athletes need examples of good behavior, not temper tantrums.

It’s not about the win.

You likely grew up in a generation that gave out trophies and medals to the winners of games, tournaments, and competitions. If you’re like many parents, you crave a healthy dose of winning for your children as they become athletes but winning isn’t always what it’s about. In fact, for kids, there are great lessons that come from losing too.

Losing is learning.

When we crave the win and don’t get it, competitive children (and adults) may feel like they’re not good enough. Instead, encourage your child to think about what they learned and what they could do better next time. Losing is an opportunity for self-reflection and growth. If they’re always getting trophies, they won’t understand what it’s like when a situation doesn’t go their way, not just in sports but in the real world later as adults.

We’ve got to learn how to lose to know what it feels like to win.

When I was a kid and my little league team won a baseball game we’d celebrate with a trip to the local ice cream shop. It was a really big deal. It meant even more when we were the losing team.

Losing literally made us hungry for another win.

It made us work harder because we knew what it was like to lose.

Celebrate the wins.

Winning is a big deal no matter how old your child athlete is or how good they are at their sport. They want to feel like a superhero. As you’re walking them through a loss, don’t forget to make them feel good about themselves. Maybe they didn’t win the gymnastics competition but they tried their best. And that’s really all we can ask.

Healthy competition is about supporting each other as parents by being good examples and cheering on each other’s kids. And it’s about giving positive feedback to our athletes as they learn and develop skills.

If you’re interested in learning more about gymnastics and cheer for your Wadsworth athlete, contact us today!

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