Believe it or not, your child athlete may be too nice.
I have said it time and again, and I stick by it. Child sports are supposed to be fun. That being said, there is no denying that any sport generally comes with a competitive element, and although we don’t want to raise our kids to have unhealthy standards, a little competition can be a really good thing.
This can become a problem however, if other competitive children take advantage of yours. We don’t want to teach our kids to be confrontational, but we also don’t want to raise them to be doormats. If your child is being steamrolled by someone on their team, it is a surefire way to ruin the fun for them, and also a great opportunity to teach your child an important life lesson.
Standing up for yourself and what is right is a very important part of sports. More competitive players may sometimes see opportunities to take advantage and gain a competitive edge, and this is where you should teach your child to do what is right.
Every child athlete knows that winning is the end goal, but there are lots of other incentives to play. If your child is being overshadowed or taken advantage of by another player, encourage them to stand their ground more, and focus on their individual performance to be the best that they can personally be.
In team situations, standing up for yourself will often gain you the respect of other teammates, especially since everyone understands that teams can only function by working together.
Explaining this idea to your child should make the conversation a bit easier. Unfortunately in sports, we can’t always be nice, but being fair is a valuable lesson for any child to learn, both on and off the field or court.