During the young athlethes’ matches, kids sports psychologists often pay attention to the behavior of the parents. Parents are the closest fans who are willing to do anything to support and help their kids in sport. However, often the actual result of this behavior is quite the opposite of what is expected. Instead of support, the young athletes feels only pressure. So what about parents who want to support their kids in sports? How to communicate with the child without exerting negative pressure to let him know that parents are always on his side and theycan talk and solve important children’s problems together? How to raise little Champions without depriving them of time to eat ice cream or play outside?
Psychologists, including sports psychologists, often meet adults who are well trained to communicate with customers, presenting new business strategies or negotiating in the modern world of rapidly developing technologies. However, they are often at a loss as parents. They do not know how to be the one who teaches children to make decisions and socialize. But communication is a skill that should be one of the most priority things in the family.
Everyone has feelings
Open conversations about feelings are necessary to form the basis of positive communication in the family. Remind your young athlete that everyone has feelings, emotions and they are all natural. Let’s rememberthatchildren also have the right to feel anger or sadness. The key question is the ability to correctly name and describe the emotions.
Imagine you’re the one of the kids in sports, who is angry because your teammate hadn’t passed the ball to you. He tried to score a goal himself. You can tell him that you were open and also wanted to score a goal. But you should not criticize your friend’s decision, take offense or swear. This is thatpattern of behavior should beexplain to your young athlete.
It is necessary to teach young athletes to express their feelings about something correctly. This will help not only in sports, but in lifegenerally.
Listen = Confirm
Our goal is positive communication. And it is a two-way street. Therefore, we must not only speak, but also listen.
Active listening is the art of paying attention and expressing it with nonverbal signals – gestures, facial expressions and tone of voice. It will give confidence to the child when he speaks. And it will help you to get important information.
It is necessary to confirm that we have heard and understood the information. Many parents struggle with violent emotions and lack of patience in young athletes. It’s more about teenagers. In such situations, you should not shout and prove something, forcing them to listen. Sometimes the best way to continue a conversation and put it in a constructive direction is to confirm the feelings of our young athlete. To do this, say something like “I understand you, you (retold the child’s words in one sentence) …” and then express your thought.
Invest in patience
We’re busy parents, we have so much to do. Make an attempt to find time for talkings instead of always being in a hurry. This way we will be able not only to hear, but also to understand what young athletes tell us.
When we are stressed or in a hurry for some reasons, we ignore almost half of the words that have been said. Remember it to be able to stop in time and not move a working bustle for the time spending with the young athlete. Let’s take a deep breath and look into the kid’s eyes. We will see there an incredibly inquisitive and young mind. Even if on the way to school we spent only a few minutes in the car together, it is better to use them communicating.
“Give mom a minute”
Do you know that phrase? Sure you do. When we need time to finish the work, and we can not pay direct attention to the young athlete, it is necessary to tell him how much time we need to finish the work, then to pay attention to him. Young athletesshould not be punished and rejected for trying to interrupt you just because their problem seems to be of paramount importance. Children should know that after the designated time you will return to them and listen carefully.
Use this situation not only to learn how to communicate and understand the child, but also to learn to be patient. This is also a good way to improve your time management, as this designation (limitation) of time to work, makes it more efficient to use.
The worst thing we can do is say, “Can’t you see I’m busy now?!”, “Solve your problems yourself” or “Don’t bother me, I have to work.”
Consent in disagreement
Attention! Parents, coach, aunts and uncles, even if you do not agree with what the child says, do not interrupt him to express your opinion. Be patient (show him by your example how to do it), listen, pay attention to what the young athlete is trying to say. Wait until he finishes his speech and then explain the reasons why you disagree with his opinion. Remember that this is also part of the practice of communication, in which you not only support the child, but also show respect.
Now you are teaching a young athlete the basics of communication, and this goal is good. You create the basis for further development of communication not only at home, not only on the sports field, but also in professional and personal life. When a child grows up, the home should be a kind of training ground for acquiring skills such as: expressing feelings, asking for help and fulfilling it, as well as working with conflicts.
Help your young athlete to understand that all people are different. And our individuality and temperament affect the style of communication, the purpose of which is to achieve mutually beneficial solutions for each of the sides.
When young athlete do not know how to talk about feelings, emotional states and, above all, how to express themselves, they lose confidence. And then they stop believing in their abilities, doubt, stop taking risks and learn to communicate experimentally. They become very strict for themselves.
As a result, the desire to change something that does not work often disappears. This also applies to sports training. The joy of sports disappears, there is no carefree fun and healthy competition.
That is why it is important to teach the young athletesto express his emotions and thoughts. In communication with him you will be able to prevent his actions and decisions based on the wrong perception of the situation, help him to understand things in a proper way. A young athlete whose feelings are not rejected, grows mentally stable and with confidence in his abilities. This, in its turn, will help him achieve the goals, including sports goals.
We must show young athletesthat we are ready to talk to them. We have to explain that each of us experiences sadness, anger, joy, and that’s normal. Each of us is sometimes disappointed or annoyed, and we all have right to be so. The question is, what are we going to do about these emotions? Parents’ task is to teach how to react correctly and turn this energy into something constructive.