School holidays – what can parents do to help their sporty kids in the ‘off’ season?
Most sports take a break during the school summer holidays and it’s often (always!!) a welcome time for parents to get a break from the treadmill of drop-off’s, pick-ups and arranging your life around your kid’s activities. It’s also a great opportunity for parents to step up their role of helping to support their kids sporting development. What can you do?
It’s important to understand that kids need a break from their sport to avoid burn out and overuse injuries but it’s also important they keep a good level of fitness and have fun doing it. Parents can help by providing ideas of things to do which will be different and fun to keep their kids active, but I also want you to think about what you can do to help them further develop the performance behaviours they will need in sport (and life).
Here’s an idea of what I mean. Encourage them to try something you know they might find challenging (a sport they might feel they are no good at or a high wire!!) and join in with them. Keep it fun but ask them what they find most challenging and why. Then help them see that challenges lead to learning and keep them focused on what they could do to improve and praise the little things that go well so they learn more about what they did that leads to improvement (so they can use it in other areas).
Also help them see how what you’re doing can help them in their chosen sport (developing their footwork, persevering through setbacks or working things out for themselves for example). Summer holidays are a great opportunity for you to spend time playing with your kids doing something they love. Make sure you also take the opportunity to help them learn as much as they can from the experience before the ‘treadmill’ starts again!
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