How to Support Your Kids’ Involvement in Sports

A red Ford Transit Van, with parents and kids walking into a gymnasium

Please note this content was written and produced prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. Verywell Family and Ford recommend readers follow CDC guidelines as they pertain to social distancing.

Sports give kids plenty of opportunities to learn life lessons, ranging from failure to persistence. Whether your child prefers karate, or they’re into lacrosse, parental support is key to helping them stay involved and gain valuable life skills.

Get to Know the Coaches

Familiarize yourself with the people who are teaching your kids. Don’t overstep your bounds though—let the coaches do the coaching.

This means not second-guessing the coach’s decisions or complaining about playing time. Instead, use every practice and game as an opportunity to teach your child valuable skills, like how to be a good sport and how to recover from mistakes.

Bring Everyone to the Games

Even if you don’t understand track or football, go to the games anyway. With available seating for up to 15, the Ford Transit offers a roomy interior with plenty of cargo space, so the whole family can go together—even grandparents.

With three different lengths, three different roof heights, and two wheelbases available, the Transit can provide cargo space and adequate seating for your family’s needs.

Encourage Practice

Most kids enjoy showing off their skills. But sharpening their skills can be a bit more tedious.

Acknowledge that hard work isn’t always fun. Learning to run faster, jump higher, or throw the ball better, feels uncomfortable. But practicing hard things is a great way for kids to build mental strength—and mental muscle will serve them well in all areas of life.

So make practice a priority, and talk about the benefits of getting better. Teach them coping strategies, like positive self-talk to build themselves up and breathing techniques that can help calm them down. Then, they’ll be better equipped to persevere, even when they don’t feel like doing the hard work.

Be a Good Sport

Getting angry at the officials or yelling at the kids for making mistakes can make a fun game miserable. Model good sportsmanship, and don’t lose sight of your values.

Praise your child’s efforts, not their achievements. Rather than saying, “Great job scoring 10 points today,” say something like, “I really like the way you hustled hard.”

Be Prepared for a Rigorous Schedule

Whether a practice is being held in the rain, or the game doesn’t end until well after dark, be prepared for long drives in all types of weather conditions.

An all-wheel drive vehicle can help you get to events year-round, even in the snow. The Ford Transit can give you confidence to handle the terrain needed to keep up with your children’s rigorous sports schedules.

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