"Throughout this book, I felt Bruce had a secret window into my own life and private thoughts. Many private feelings I am currently dealing with were addressed and revealed in a manner that made me feel it is not only normal, but I am truly not alone in this. I was surprised that I cried while reading it and the comfort that the words brought me. I read tons of self-help books, among other types of books, and this book actually gives me hope and things to look forward to. My tears were from the fact that I am facing the words I read. I have been getting negative feedback from outside sources and these words reassured me not to listen, keep them out of your life and do what is right. The section on the other home/parent opened my eyes and freed me. I did not go into reading this book thinking it would help me on such a deep emotional level." ~Dorothy Justice, Vice Chair-Community Action Partnership

February 4, 2014

Sports is more than masculinity and competitiveness

Even at the very lowest recreational level, sports can expose a child to social interaction influenced primarily by positive situations. Some not so positive issues in sports will confront your child, though if recognized and supported properly can help build character in your child. Exposure to sports at any level will open your child to issues which parallel life in general; these are the influences you want for your child to help prepare them for every day life.
"Your children will learn to intermingle with diverse groups"
Sports foster additional relationships within the organization and preferably a bond with others such as the coaches, team players and their families. Your child will grow with new opportunities to model themselves, their behavior and character.  He/She will share common goals with peers and begin to view himself/ herself with acceptance. They will learn and excel on different levels with their new sport. Your children will learn to intermingle with diverse groups. Once that seed of confidence is planted, your child will flourish. They will want to become better and better themselves. In addition to observing and understanding their role with others within the same age group, friendly competition within their team and against teams will enhance their growth and subsequently their confidence.
"A [great] coach is one who is ... vested in your child’s growth and development"
One fundamental difference for your child to stay interested in the sport, and perhaps with your patience as a parent, is a great coach. A coach is one who is not only knowledgeable in the sport, but also vested in your child’s growth and development. As a coach of boys and girls myself for many years, from the lowest recreational level to tournament/competitive level teams, I learned I could encourage and support any child by putting them in positions of success-even if it meant changing the game strategy.

           "It’s up to your child to be thee best"

Plenty of coaches have very good intentions. They may even be very social and friendly. You want a coach who will understand and be compassionate about your child’s needs in the sport-even teach them how to take risks to reach the next level. Eventually your child will reach or achieve club or competitive level sports. This will be a defining period on whether sports is still a priority and if being competitive without their coach’s compassion is a desire. Here, the coach will push your child to be their best. It’s up to your child to be thee best. A great coach will facilitate and support this development, but not hinder.
"...show your child how to manage...emotional curves..."
Your child in sports will be exposed to many ups and downs. It’s how you, as the parent, support and subsequently show your child how to manage these emotional curves, that will make the difference and create long-lasting benefits. Regardless of how successful your child is, at times: he/she may feel as though they are not good enough,  their emotions will rise and fall with wins vs. losses, they may even be hard on themselves when the games outcome appears to rest on their shoulders, or he/she may want to quit due to adverse situations which will arise.
"....relay the message that giving up on themselves or even quitting will only cheat them in the end"
Help them weigh the situation objectively with facts and relay the message that giving up on themselves or even quitting will only cheat them in the end. Life is filled with ups and downs; the hidden message you provide is that by not giving up, your child will progress through good practical experience and lessons that will carry into their adult life. Sports are a great opportunity for your child to experience life-paralleling issues and therefore prepare them for life’s challenges ahead.

Bruce Buccio resides in Colorado, USA, with his beautiful new wife, is loving dad, Author of "Parenting After Divorce: Rebuilding Your Life And Reaffirming the Relationships that Matter (2013)," court appointed child advocate and expert helping families professionally in parenting, relationship, personal growth and life changes. Today, he writes primarily inspired by experiences raising his children as single dad, but also writes about inspiration, growth, and love.

© 2014 Bruce Buccio

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