Tuesday, 23 Apr 2024

In Celebration of Embracing Athletically Average Children

As parents, we often have high expectations for our children, particularly when it comes to their participation in sports. We want them to excel, to stand out among their peers, and to achieve greatness on the field. But what about those children who are simply average athletes? Should they be discouraged from playing sports? This article is a tribute to those children who may not possess exceptional athletic abilities but deserve to be celebrated nonetheless.

The Challenges of Being Average

Imagine being part of a team where some members are naturally talented athletes, while others are just average. This was the reality for my son’s recreational soccer team. As expected, their performance suffered in terms of scores, which was disappointing for the kids. However, what made matters worse was the atmosphere on the sidelines. As a parent watching these games, it was hard for me to see my son lose repeatedly.

The Importance of Perspective

But as I reflected on these experiences, I realized that my focus was in the wrong place. Instead of fixating on the outcome, I should have been celebrating the fun my son was having and the personal growth he was experiencing. It is essential for parents and coaches to emphasize the importance of enjoying the game and allowing children to have fun, even when they face defeat.

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Kids playing soccer
Image source: Pesstatsdatabase

Embracing Individuality and Averageness

My son was never as engaged in soccer as his more athletically-inclined sister. He didn’t practice on his own or show a particular interest in the sport beyond scheduled practices and games. However, I came to understand that his level of play and personal enjoyment were what truly mattered. As parents, we shouldn’t impose unrealistic expectations on our children. Instead, we should support them in finding joy in their participation, without demanding more than they are willing to give.

The Sideline Culture

One significant factor that affects children’s experience in sports is the culture on the sidelines. I still remember a parent expressing frustration when my son missed a shot. This made me wonder if other parents of average athletes also feel the pressure from others. Are they subtly encouraged to withdraw their children from sports to protect them? I realized that I had fallen into the same pattern of thinking.

Kids playing sports
Image source: Pesstatsdatabase

A Different Approach

Fortunately, my son’s journey took a positive turn when he enrolled at Seven Hills School in Richmond, VA. This small, private middle school provided organized sports opportunities for all students, regardless of their abilities. The focus was on fun, teamwork, development, and personal growth, rather than winning. The children played with huge smiles on their faces, regardless of the outcome. At Seven Hills School, the parents also fostered a culture of respect for all participants, creating an environment free from stress.

Changing Perspectives

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Now when I watch my son’s games, I no longer scrutinize every detail. Instead, I simply enjoy the sight of him and his teammates growing healthier and happier with every game. It brings me immense joy to witness the pure happiness that can only be found on a playing field among friends. So, to those who put undue pressure on average athletes, I say, let them be. This is recreational sports, and our children deserve to play and have fun.

FAQs

Q: Should I encourage my average child to continue playing sports?
A: Absolutely! Participating in sports, regardless of skill level, offers numerous benefits in terms of physical and mental well-being.

Q: How can I support my average child in sports?
A: Focus on their enjoyment and growth rather than the outcome. Encourage them, celebrate their efforts, and emphasize the importance of having fun.

Q: Is it normal for parents to feel pressured by other parents when their child is average in sports?
A: Yes, it is unfortunately common for parents to feel judged or criticized. However, it is essential to remember that each child is unique and should be celebrated for their individual journey.

Conclusion

On my son’s 13th birthday, I can’t help but feel grateful for the lessons I have learned. Embracing his averageness and celebrating his love for sports has been a transformative experience. So, to all the parents out there with athletically average children, let’s focus on their joy, growth, and overall well-being. Sports should be a source of fun and personal fulfillment, regardless of skill level. Let’s cheer for our children and support them in being active and healthy, both on and off the field.

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To learn more about the world of football and explore players’ statistics and performances, visit Pesstatsdatabase.