Parenting – How to motivate your child to take part in sport

By Drum Digital
11 July 2016

Parents must create an atmosphere where it’s not about “winning” or “being the best”, but rather about giving your best

, says Claudette Jordan, a Durban psychologist, “Then we are encouraging pride in the attitude towards and the process of engaging in an activity rather than the end result.”

Kids won’t achieve in sports unless they can motivate themselves, says Pretoria sports psychologist Greyling Viljoen.

“If you put too much pressure on a child he’ll become demotivated and stop an activity at the first chance, or perhaps become ill or injure himself. The child must want to do the sport.”

Always distinguish between the achievement and the child. “Children are inclined to say: ‘Poor performance means I’m not good enough’. Then a parent should rather discuss the match and focus on a tactic or technique that can be improved.”

It’s also a good idea to emphasise hard work, not performance, Greyling says. “When you set goals with your child talk about the goals and the process: What must I do to get where I want to be? Emphasise that the goal is to train a certain number of hours a week rather than being among the top three,” he adds.

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