Losing seasons…they are just not fun.
A sports parent asks:
How do you keep up morale with 7-9 year olds when their flag football team is losing every game? Most of the kids are learning the basics. The other teams consist of tackle football kids in the off season.
It is really hard when your child is on a team that just can’t seem to pull out the W. We’ve been through many of those seasons in our house–as a coach and as players.
There is nothing you can do to make it easier for your child. Losing is just not fun. Period.
But there are some things you can focus on to help keep morale up, even in the difficulty.
- Focus with your athlete on what he can do to help his team. My daughter used to pray with her team before each game. For your child, it might be just being an encourager to his teammates.
- Encourage your kid to set personal goals. What does she need to work on and how does she plan to achieve it?
- Focus on performance rather than on results. Your child can feel good about his hard work and his small victories, even if his team loses.
- Stay positive. A negative attitude kills team spirit. Negative attitudes are contagious. And as a parent, you have a lot to do with keeping the positivity up.
- Let your young athlete vent her frustrations without your commentary. When she’s just venting, she doesn’t need your lectures or coaching. She just needs you to listen.
When your child is going through a losing season, know that at the very least, your child is getting prepared for life’s difficulties, for the “long run”. And hopefully he will remember those lessons when the Ws start to stack up.
If you have a sports parenting question, leave a comment or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.