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PARENTINGSPORTS HELP YOUR KIDS WIN IN LIFEBY LORENE PHILLIPS, LEADERSHIP COACH AND CO-AUTHOR OF '29 KEYS TO PARENTING & WIN!'I love most sports, both playing and watching. I was very athletic in high school and remain an ardent competitor at heart. Having three boys and a husband who also loves sports meant our household was quite spirited, sometimes borderline rowdy. We spent a large portion of our time coaching sports, attending games and of course being the ‘taxi driver’ shuttling our boys to practices and to those big game days.
Football and baseball were HUGE in our house. My husband was a baseball coach and football was an all-year sport that got us all involved, whether live or on television. I loved the camaraderie, rivalry, and energy these sports brought to our family. The banter home from the games were the best —especially if the boys’ team won.
From kindergarten, sports became an anchor for teaching our kids life lessons. The discipline of hard work, perseverance, goal setting, individual development whilst contributing within a team environment, and how to win with integrity all improved as our boys played from year to year. Sports also taught them how to follow the rules and of course how to make their parents proud!
The ebb and flow of wins and losses groomed them in sportsmanship—how to play and win with integrity and not to demean the opponent. When they experienced hard game losses or unexpected setbacks, it gave us an opportunity to help them understand that did not mean they are a failure. Grasping this distinction early built resilience and confidence in our kids.
They also learnt that hard work can lead to great reward and a good attitude to long-term success and a correspondent increase in their self-belief.
For all of us, the metaphor of sports to the game of life, proved a timeless coach as we navigate the challenges of the real world. I have experienced the benefit of sports in my personal and professional life, and I continue to see it’s huge impact in the lives of our children, who are now young adults.
Sports is a fun way to develop the character and skillsets we need to truly succeed in life. Most importantly, it teaches us to not shrink back from a challenge or retreat because of a failure. And the sooner kids start learning these life lessons, the better.
If you have been sitting on the side-lines regarding your kids participating in sports, consider the lifelong benefits for them. Do not worry if you are not the best at sports. What matters most, is being a part of something your children enjoy and are good at, and cheering and supporting them along the way.