DREAM BIG PRESENTS: Tips For Working With Kids in Sports
Park Ridge, IL -- Remember gym class in elementary school? The gym teacher selects captains to head up two teams. Then, one by one, either the captains or the teacher chooses which students to play on the individual teams. And one by one, the number keeps dwindling until you are the last one standing. It's not a good feeling, is it?
As a teacher, coach or parent, working with children can be both challenging and fulfilling. Rather than making children feel left out or unworthy, try to build their self-esteem and confidence. Sports can help. Research shows that girls and women who play sports have higher levels of self-esteem and lower levels of depression (Ms. Foundation, 1991). Encourage kids to do their best and make athletics a positive experience.
Dream Big, a program developed by the Big Ten Conference to help shape a young girl's future through her involvement in sports, recommends the following tips for working with children to build self-esteem and make all kids feel like they belong in sports.
Help young athletes feel like they belong by structuring appropriate fitness and skill-building experiences. Break skills down from complex to simple and maximize each child's potential for success. Other tips:
Parents can do their part to build confidence and provide encouragement by becoming educated about the demands of the sport and the demands the child's participation will place on the family. Also, be present at children's sporting events to show support and plan ways to balance their home and social life. Focus on the benefits of the experience over the long term and not on whether the game was won or lost.
For more tips, log onto www.bigten.org and click the Dream Big button. Launched in 1998, Dream Big represents the Big Ten's commitment to recruiting and keeping girls actively involved in sports to achieve an overall healthy well-being -- physically, socially and mentally.