Sports Love & family

Learning Life's Lessons through Sports

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Staying Positive When There’s So Much Negative: Part II

Last post we discussed one of the little negative situations our children experience in sports. This time we’ll discuss one of the bigger things that’s a little harder to control…someone else’s actions. Whether it’s your child’s coach or parents in the stands, negativity is like a spider web, it spreads and everyone gets caught in it.

Trust me when I say, I’ve been here before and it’s a real bad road to detour down. I’m here to help you stay off that path. And believe me, it will only benefit you and your family to stay out of the web. It’s so hard, I know. But, do it…actually just don’t do it. Stay away, stay far away!

We talked last time about shutting down our kids conversations when they want to complain about teammates, or coaching or ref calling. We discussed how unproductive these conversations are. The same goes for parents on the sidelines. Youth sports have become a social activity for many. So, this means lots of gossiping and chitty chatty happening in the stands. Fine, discuss the who’s who of your town or what’s the best nail color to get, but don’t ever let these conversations become about what’s happening on the field|court. What I mean by that is, don’t bad mouth the coaching staff or any of the players. This is how it becomes a web and sadly, it only takes one negative person to get it going. If someone tries to engage in this type of conversation, shut it down. It’s so hard to do. If you just can’t do it, walk away, or re-direct the conversation. I’ve actually been in this situation and have gotten sucked in, and then after the game went to the car feeling horrible. We tell our children to stand up to bullies, yet, we ourselves have a hard time doing it.

So, that’s an easy solution for stopping the negativity in the stands, just squash it, don’t engage in it. It’s difficult to do, but give it a try for all involved.

But, what if the negativity is coming from the bench, meaning the coach. We’ll discuss that in Part III of this series. Read this article from about toxic people and the affect it has on kids. In the meantime, check out this book that we loved. It really opened our eyes to the criticism we were putting on our kids and changed the way we talked to them after the game. And Cal Ripken is just an awesome guy!


Staying Positive When There’s So Much Negative: Part I

This can mean so many things to so many people, but I’m referring to just sports. Even then it can mean so many things. I’ll touch on the things I know and that we’ve gone through as a family.

Let’s start small, your kid is on a losing team. If your kids are anything like mine, that’s difficult because they’re competitive and want to win. Here’s how we handle this situation (and by we, I really mean Todd, because he’s awesome at this!).

When your kid feels stuck on a losing team, lots of things can go the wrong way. Negativity seeps into your happy-go-lucky child. A child who once brushed off a loss begins to get angry with each subsequent loss. It is our job as parents to rein that in. We teach our kids it’s ok to be angry after a loss. But, we also talk to them about appropriate behavior. We tell our kids to be mad, take a few breaths and be over it. There’s no sense on dwelling about what you could’ve done, how the refs|umps should’ve called the game or what other teammates could’ve done. We squash these conversations very quickly. Nothing positive comes of them.

Instead, we steer the conversation in a more positive light. For instance, we give them personal goals to work on in the game. Why not teach them that there is something they can control…they’re own actions (life lesson). Todd talks to the kids about what they can work on in the game|practice and they come up with goals (new one each time). An example would be, “today I’m going to work on being a leader, going left to the basket rather than right, taking an outside pitch to the opposite field.” After the game we talk to them about whether they accomplished this goal and what to work on next. Goals can be mental or physical. The mental game is very important and probably should be worked on the most!

We believe and again, we’ve done research on this the mental game is so important. But, many parents don’t know or understand that they need to teach this to their children. If you wait until your child is in high school, it’s too late. They’ve already set bad habits, start now, while your kids are young. We’re always sharing motivational videos with our kids. Like, this one from Nate Trosky (Todd’s latest baseball hero). Check it out with your kids and let us know your thoughts.

What about bigger situations? For instance, your child has a negative coach or there are negative fans in attendance. We’ve experienced that too, and will write about it in Part II (coming next week).


A Few of Our Favorite Things

When we started discussing topics for the blog I knew I wanted to include a post about all our favorite products we need to get us through each sport season. The list is ever evolving so we decided to make a tab on the blog instead so we can keep adding to it. The intention is to segment it by Mom, Dad and kids. Take a look here and of course let us know what your favorite products are!

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A Fresh Start

Welcome! This is my NEW blog.

Sports teach us a lot about life. I played and coached sports for many years and believe I’ve learned valuable life lessons from all those years on the court/field. Now, my children are experiencing life through sports, and as a family we’re learning those life lessons and more! I’ll share with you all that I’ve learned in the more than seven years of watching my kids and what we’re all learning along the way.  I’ll also give Mom/Parenting tips (sports-related, I’m not a parenting expert) that I’ve learned (ie, best stain removers, packing for a day of sports events) and maybe you’ll have some for me too!

Hopefully, you’ll join us as we travel the sports path with our crazy family.

Next post to look forward to: Being the Parent of an Athlete. What does it mean to you and to your athlete?