When famed soccer reporter Grant Wahl died suddenly during the World Cup earlier this month, his wife, physician Céline Gounder, told CBS News, “I want people to remember him as this kind, generous person.”
Another panel of reporters, in discussing the tributes pouring in from those who knew him, commented that the common trait mentioned by all these people was his “kindness.”
Sometimes, especially these days, kindness can be in short supply. Sports can be particularly competitive and lacking in this attribute, especially for children whose parents envision them being the next Olympic champion or highly-paid professional athlete.
But the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) cautions against enrolling kids in sports activities for the wrong reasons.
“Only one in more than 6,600 high school football players will ever rise to the professional football ranks,” AAP cautions on its healthychildren.org website. Of those, fewer still will be standouts (or become stars).
More Realistic Rewards
If either you or your child says that their top goal for wanting to compete in sports is “winning,” the organization suggests you or they rethink priorities.
Instead, AAP suggests that both parents and kids focus on other, better reasons for participating in organized sports:
increased physical fitness
developing basic motor skills
developing leadership skills
teaching the importance of teamwork and sportsmanship
learning to deal gracefully with both success and failure
So before you allow your child to enroll in a sport, AAP suggests you talk with your child about their reasons for wanting—or possibly not wanting—to participate. Find out if their goals differ from yours.
Most importantly, try to match your child to the right sports team for their goals and abilities, and don’t be afraid to let them select a different sport if the one they chose isn’t the right fit for them.
Promoting Closer Relationships
Sports is one of the topics in this month’s Family Table Time kit. The others are seasons of giving, sharing, and acting responsibly.
Be sure to check out the rest of our Family Table Time topics for the month when you subscribe to our innovative, 52-week family activity kits at just $4.99 a month. These engaging packages help promote stronger, lasting bonds with your family.
Not sure? Try Family Table Time for four weeks absolutely free here.