I’ve been away from the blog this summer and oh how I have missed it. Life has been busy and I’ve been in full momma mode with the boys. We had a great summer. Despite the craziness that COVID is still causing, the hubby and I managed to give the boys a lot of fun and quality time. So for that I’m thankful.
One highlight of our summer was our big boy Duce playing sports…FINALLY! Let me be clear: I’ve been waiting to be THAT mom forever!! I love sports. I love supporting my children in all they do. Most importantly, I love the joy on my kid’s face when they’re playing, E is cheering for his brother, and Duce recapping the game!
Duce played in 2 T-ball leagues and a soccer league. It was awesome to see him develop his skills during the second league of T-ball. His confidence increased, he was more relaxed and playful, and his knowledge of the game grew greatly. By the time he got to soccer, he not only anxiously anticipated when it started, but he was committed to practicing during the week. And then when he got on the field he did the work! Made us so proud every single week! At 4 he was dominating the fields. An amazing hitter in T-ball and scorer in Soccer.
Now I wouldn’t be the momma and educator I am if I didn’t observe some things and have some lessons from this athletic summer in the Whitaker home! Watching Duce and even other kids and parents at the games really gave me some take-aways that I think are important as we support our favorite little people in the athletic arena.
Follow Through on Commitment: This is BIG! There were days where Duce was tired or just wasn’t feeling it and wanted to be done. But the hubby and I would pull him aside and remind him that “Whitakers Don’t Quit, We Win!” and that “He can do all things through Christ that Gives Him Strength.” Even when its hard and the other team or players are better, you keep going. Keep trying. Winning can look like scoring the most goals, hustling and helping a teammate score, winning the game, finishing a game, or just having great sportsmanship. Either way, when we sign up, we follow through and commit to finishing.
Bribery: I seen a couple of parents bribing their children with snacks and food trips after the game if they would just get off the sidelines and play. Now let’s be clear…they’re 4 year olds. So their minds and attitudes change often. And because of that, its important that we stay consistent and control the environment.
- With Duce we spend the entire week pumping him up about the game, practicing, setting goals on how many hits or goals he will get, affirming him and telling him how good of a player and teammate he is, and so forth.
- Its a whole experience leading up to the game and even more so at the game. Which in result encourages him to be excited about playing and wanting to play, eliminating the bribe!
Game Day-Biggest Fan!: If you ain’t out there supporting your child with your WORDS AND ACTIONS, then don’t sign them up! You are their BIGGEST FAN! ACT LIKE IT! There were so many parents that sat on the sidelines paying no attention to the game, nor cheering their child or their team on. It really broke my heart to be honest.
- Cheering for your children lets them know you see them, are proud of them and enjoy spending time with them.
- A wonderful way to study how they interact with other children and use that as teaching moments later.
- Are they a team player? Do they get distracted easily? How is their stamina? Are they enjoying this sport? All these questions help you learn more about your child and parent and love accordingly.
- Being present is so important at their games, and in life!
Duce didn’t win every game or score all the goals. As a matter of fact, one week he scored 10 goals and another week 1 goal in soccer. But guess what? Our level of excitement didn’t waver. We still celebrated him and let him know how proud of him we were. And because we watched his game, we were able to point out the small victories to encourage him. There’s no disappointment or negative talk. Their is celebration of the big and small wins and discussing how he can continue to do well. Now were there games that the hubby and I looked at each other and wondered why Duce preferred to kick dirt than catch the ball, or why he didn’t follow through and hustle to get the goal? Of course! But those thoughts didn’t stop us from cheering and praising him on and off the field.
Most importantly mommas, HAVE FUN! Cheer your babies on. Take all the pictures and videos! Scream their name. Do THEE MOST! And be UNASHAMED! It’s easy to be a strict sideline coach, get bored or even annoyed by the way the game is going. But remember, they’re just kids building relationships with strangers, learning physical and social skills, exercising and having fun! Let them have fun! And when they are in the car before and after games, talk to them about the games.
- How do you think you did today? What was your favorite part? What was hard? How were you a team player today? How did you show good sportsmanship and teamwork?
These questions are important, as they build the child’s critical thinking skills, teaches them to share their likes, dislikes and concerns. But most important, it shows them you care.
Do your children play sports? What lessons have you learned from watching them? Join me in the comments below!
~Soli deo Gloria💜
Copyright © 2021 by Da’Quisha Whitaker
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