What Is There to Celebrate During a Hard Season?

In the youth sports journey, there will be hard seasons. Maybe your child is not getting the playing time they want, or they do not get along with teammates or coaches. Or maybe their team is having a losing season or your child is struggling in their own performance.

These difficult seasons are hard for athletes and parents, but it’s amazing what a simple change in perspective can do.

Instead of focusing on the fact that “this season sucks” or “I cannot WAIT until this season is over,” what if parents adopted a new outlook? What if instead of dwelling on everything that is going wrong, they looked for these things instead:

What Can Your Child Do to Help the Team?

Other than doing their job in the game to the best of their ability, what can your child do to encourage positivity? Your child might be an encourager to their teammates, a helper to the coach before or after the game. Help them find one thing they can to do uplift their team. It may be as little as high-fiving a good play.

Help Your Kid Set Personal Goals.

What does your young athlete need to work on and how do they plan to achieve it? Even in a hard or losing season, your child can see progress in their personal performance. If you child can focus on performance rather than on results, they can feel good about their hard work and their small victories.

Pay Attention to Staying Positive.

A negative attitude kills team spirit. Negative attitudes are contagious. And as a parent, you have a lot to do with keeping the positivity up. This is definitely not going to be easy, but when you consider that negativity does nothing to help your child play better, it’s a choice you must make

Let Your Young Athlete Vent.

When they are just venting, they don’t need your lectures or coaching. It’s easy for parents to assume that when their kids vent, they must do something to fix the situation. What they really need is for you to support them by listening and supporting. Resist the urge to step in and rescue them.

As hard as it is to swallow, there is always something valuable for your child to learn in a hard season. Don’t be a reason that they miss that opportunity.

Janis B. Meredith, sports mom and coach’s wife, writes a sports parenting blog called jbmthinks.com. Her new book, 11 Habits for Happy and Positive Sports Parents, is on Amazon.

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