In the realm of children and sports, fostering a positive environment is paramount.

The majority of kids won’t go pro, and that’s perfectly fine! What we aim for is their holistic development. We want them engaged in sports for the physical and mental health benefits, the sense of community, and the valuable life lessons they learn along the way.

One big factor that affects kids’ sporting experiences is parental involvement. We need to be supportive without being overbearing. No kid wants their parents to be the loud, yelling spectators on the sidelines. Let’s be positive, applaud both teams equally, and refrain from shouting instructions.

As parents, we must also emphasise values like teamwork, discipline, and resilience over just winning. Every child can embody these qualities, regardless of their performance on the field. It’s crucial to lead by example, both on and off the sporting ground.

Moreover, understanding our children’s anxieties and concerns is key to creating a supportive environment. Whether it’s about the game structure or social dynamics, let’s listen to them and work with coaches to address their needs.

Speaking of coaches, they play a pivotal role in shaping our kids’ experiences. They should strive for excellence while nurturing the players’ growth, both as athletes and individuals. A great coach can leave a lasting impact on a child’s life, serving as a role model and mentor.

As parents and coaches, we need to strike a balance between pushing for improvement and providing a nurturing environment. After the game, it’s important to switch from coach mode to parent mode, offering encouragement and constructive feedback without overwhelming our kids.

We have a profound influence on our children, whether we realise it or not. So, let’s be proactive in setting positive examples and fostering a love for sports that goes beyond the scoreboard.

For more in-depth conversations with experts like Adrian Munro, from Richmond Wellbeing, listen to Table Talk with Leah every weekday from 9 am- 12 pm.