Summertime is here and that means summer sports are in full gear. Liberty Mutual’s ResponsibleSports.com educates parents and coaches about the positive influence sports play in children's lives. Summer and sports are a winning combo for kids who swap school books for bats and balls, as they take part in summer camps and sports leagues.
Here is the question:
"As a parent, how do you encourage and reinforce the positive aspects of youth sports?"
I have always loved sports myself. But growing up in a hispanic immigrant family who had more important things that expensive sports on their minds, i never got to play. In high school i finally was allowed to play softball becuase it didn't cost my parents anything. I loved it. I looked forward to the games, my friends, and everything else. I even got my letterman jacket for playing on the varsity softball team. I didn't learn how to play volleyball until after high school, and i didn't want this for my son. So when my son turned 3, I signed him up for his first sport, Soccer. I, being a single parent, was looking for male influence in my son's life. I wanted to teach him teamwork, leadership, friendship, and most of all wanted him to have fun. We got more than that out of one sport. My son was so shy, and scared I ended up becoming the assistant coach. He wouldn't even get on the field without me. That season was great. My son and I got closer than we have ever been. We learned so much about Soccer. We were hooked. YMCA 04, Me and Matt (he is right under me)
After that season and many more seasons after I have always giving him the choice to continue playing sports if he feels up to it. I never want to puch something on my son that he would not want to do. But sports has kept him busy. He loves making all the new friends. And I always end up being assistant coach. I am always involved at the local YMCA. If there is opportunities open I always ask my son if he would like for us to join in on the fun. Programs like the YMCA will work out payment plans for assistant to those that need it. It doesn't cost much to me for all that we get out of it.
So as a parent I continue to allow my son to play any sports he wishes as long as his grades are passing. I provide him with opportunities that i did not have growing up. I encourage him by getting all our family out there cheering for him. I support by being the assistant coach or team mom, selling chocolates, or buying snacks. Sports are great for kids. Let's all encourage our kids and give them these opportunities, there are lessons to be learned out on those fields some that can't be taught anywhere else.
About the Liberty Mutual ResponsibleSports.com:
Created by Liberty Mutual in partnership with Positive Coaching Alliance, US Youth Soccer, USA Hockey and the Amateur Softball Association, the Liberty Mutual Responsible Sports program provides resources for parents and coaches at www.responsiblesports.com to help children reap the full benefits of playing a team sport. The online community incorporates blogs, videos, and best practices on youth sports topics that provide practical, real-world advice. Parents and coaches also can complete coursework on positive sports mentoring that offers best practices for handling challenging sports scenarios.
Please leave a comment, what sport do your kids love the most?