Do you remember your tios screaming at the tv screen during la Copa Mundial? The anticipation of a soccer match was one of my favorite parts of growing up. Our cultura Latina is based on a heavy sports presence. Matches are something we all look forward to. We paint our faces, buy our favorite team’s jerseys, and gather together to eat and drink Corona.
It is only natural that these memories are what turned me into a sports fanatic and drove me to pass them down to my children. Sports are an excellent extracurricular idea for our children to develop commitment while having fun. Not everything has to be about school and grades. Not sure how to stimulate sports skills in our children starting at an early age? Here are some tips to get your creative juices running.
Give Them The Choice
Our children playing a sport is not a quest for you to fulfill tus sueños frustrados de ser futbolista. Give them the choice to pick a sport that sparks their interest and excites them. Highlight their strengths to see that they can genuinely stimulate their skills.
If they love to run, give them various sports options that rely heavily on this skill, such as soccer. Giving them a choice to pick their sport will motivate them and empower them to hone their skills.
Do Sports Together
Mija, instead of taking full-body boomerangs at the gym to post on Instagram, go out into the field with your children. Take 2 hours from your weekend to go play at the park together.
Children are more likely to want to stay in sports if they see their parents engage in physical activity as well. Remember, you are their role model, and you need to lead by example.
Make It Fun
Don’t take everything so seriously. Make sports fun for your children. Schedule family gatherings during their games. This is a great way to spend quality family time together while encouraging your child to play. They will quickly lose interest if they are not having fun, especially at an early age.
Make Time For Rest
Mom, do not burn out your children. I know you want what is best for them and stimulate their skills to set them up for success, but we must allow them to rest.
This cannot turn into another episode of Dance Moms, where a toxic environment riddled with emotional and verbal abuse prevailed. Throw out the hustle culture mentality and allow your children time to unwind, rest, and enjoy the magic of being a child.
As always, praise is essential to instill confidence and self-esteem into our children. Don’t base your child’s sporting skills on their performance, but more on their efforts.
If you only praise them when they win a match or an award, they can quickly become discouraged. Remind them that you are still proud of all their accomplishments no matter the outcome.
In the end, focus on caring for your children as a whole and give them the freedom to strengthen their abilities, and you will notice their sports skills will slowly follow.