The child is a multi-sport athlete participating in two or more sports in a year. This child likely greatly exceeds the 60 minutes of physical activity daily. The child should have a workload that is safe, healthy, and enjoyable from them. Avoid having the child play in more than one sport at a time. Also, allow the child to have weeks or even months off from organized sports throughout the year. Parents and coaches will need to monitor the child for overuse injuries, burnout, and the mood of the child. A heavy workload for a child should be because the child enjoys sports and has fun playing them and not be forced upon them. This is a lifestyle that will need monitoring from parents and coaches to be done successfully.
While parenting an athlete, keep in mind what is important. The emphasis should be that your child is physically active, having fun, learning movements and skills, and creating friends. Your child should be participating in sport or several sports because they chose to and find enjoyment in doing so. It is often the case that the child began playing sports because was fun and enjoyable but over time things changed and sports became undesirable to the child. To avoid burnout closely monitor your child’s play. Changes in behaviors, moods, or performance could be signs that something is bothering your child. In conversation with your child focus on your child and not the aspects of the sport you can’t control. Discuss your child’s enjoyment, development, goals, as well as the social interactions with teammates and coaches.
The Child is Happy and Healthy
The child finds enjoyment through physical activity and does not see it as a task but as fun. The child is not only physically healthy but socially and emotionally healthy too, giving them a more positive outlook on life. A happy and healthy child may find it easier to make friends, have success with academics, and have good self-esteem.
Reaps the Benefits of Physical Activity and Organized Sport
There are benefits of organized sport that are difficult to replicate by other means in a child's development. Sports offers benefits to the child such as being physically active, learning various motor skills, sport-specific skills and create positive habits with physical activity. Cognitive benefits are that the child can learn how to handle failure and success, how to be a good teammate, and develop communication and social skills. Sports are also connected to reducing stress and depression, improving academic achievement, and can give the child a sense of belonging and aid the child’s self-esteem and confidence.