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Relationships with Dr. Jankovich: Kids and Sports

Research confirms when kids participate in team sports with supportive coaches, they learn to be more resilient, have better social skills, and improved self-esteem. The resilience may come from learning to accept that they don’t always win. 

Physicians suggest children should play in more than one sport so they’re using different muscle groups:  not only soccer, but also a sport using upper body muscles like swimming or tennis.  Teach your child the importance of rest to restore energy and allow the body to heal from the workouts.  A couple of days a week there should be no sport practice so children are free to play and learn to entertain themselves.  Rather than focus on winning, focus on the pleasure of hard work and having fun.  Ask your child not whether they were the best, but what was fun about the practice today; what skill were they trying to improve.  Teach them the fun in is working hard, not just winning.

Dr. Jankovich is a former commentator for “Relationships with Dr. Rebecca Jankovich” and has been working as a psychologist since 1974.