Your child may already be motivated to pursue his/her favorite sport and nothing could get in his/her way, but not all children are this motivated. Lots of children and teens need a little encouragement even after that fun summer of Basketball, Baseball/Softball, Football, Soccer, Lacrosse, Swimming, Snowboarding, Cheerleading, Cross-country running, Fencing, Field Hockey, Fishing, Golf, Hockey, Horseback Riding. Here are some things you can do to motivate your child after summer sports camp is over:
- Encourage them to get involved with different sports leagues - in-school team sports, intramural and co-ed sports, the YMCA, etc. and offer to provide rides/carpools. Be sure to go to their games as often as possible.
- Take them to high school, college, and professional sports games.
- If they must play video games, encourage them to play sports video games and keep them away from the violent ones. Sports video games can actually help with ambidexterity, hand-eye coordination and helps them learn the game inside and out and teaches them to be more efficient. For example, if you play hocky, it teaches you rules like offsides, icing, etc.
- Encourage them to study and do well in school. When athletes get better grades in school they tend to be better athletes. There is a connection between succeeding academically and doing better physically and in all areas. The 6th Century BCE father of Western Philosophy, Pythagoras, mentored athletes to look beyond athletics to become better world citizens and to develop and master their inner and outer world. He taught them how to think and how to develop strategy and scientific ways of “beating” their opponent with right use of energy, diet, and exercise.
- Spend time with your child and show them you are available so that when they have a problem they will talk to you instead of turning to drugs or other destructive avenues. With the world and technology keeping us busier than any other time in history, it’s important to block out time at least twice a week to spend quality time with your child. Play catch, basketball, tennis, take them to a movie, etc.
- Book the sports summer camp early for next year so they have something to look forward to.
- Encourage them to stay in touch with other kids from their favorite sports summer camp.
Not only will these things help sustain the spark after summer sports camps, they will help your child-parent bond as well!
Karen Mazza works with the Camppage.com. CampPage is one of the nation’s best resources for information about summer camps in the United States and Canada online at Camppage.com.