Today’s Ultimate Transformation Moment is a message to parents.  As the school year begins, and children begin to participate in sports, now is the time for you to let them have fun, and you can sit back and watch them grow as young people.

 Sport is a great learning tool for our youth. It teaches them many life lessons. Sport at its most fundamental level teaches our children how to compete. It teaches them how to challenge themselves to improve skills they have acquired and transfer these skills into play. They learn to work together for a common goal.

Sport teaches them how to work with other people. Through teamwork, they figure out how their role fits into the grand scheme of the team.  Sport teaches discipline.  They must learn how to meet the requirements of the team, the team rules and rules of the game. Finally, sport teaches our youth how to humbly celebrate effort in winning, as well as how to persevere and bounce back after a loss. These are just a few of the positive aspects that our youth can experience while participating in sports. Parents should celebrate these great elements of sport.

 Parents, here are a few guidelines to help your child get the most out of a sport and how you can support them.  First, let your child play without pressure from you. Sports are games, and games should be played for fun.  The time for giving suggestions, corrections or identifying mistakes, is during practice. During a game, they should play free of all external pressures.  Athletes perform at their best when they are relaxed.  Let them play for fun.

Here are two tips for parents whom I know want their children to succeed: Always focus on them playing their hardest, playing at their best.  Go out and give their best effort.  Go hard!  Gage them based on the effort that they put forth.  Teach them to always give their best effort. Second, and I know this sounds crazy, but I want you to help them to understand that a game is played with the goal of winning.  Playing to win means a lot.  In today’s society, a team can be in last place and get a trophy.  This is not an accurate representation of life.  In life, the objective is to win.  So you have to teach your child to go out and play to win, however, if they lose, use these as teaching moments. Teach them how to rebound from the feeling of the loss. Help them evaluate their performance to put themselves in a better position to possibly win the next time.  This is the true life cycle.

 Finally parents, I want you to reach back into your memories and think about the times that you played a sport as a youth.  Did you win every game?  Did you win every race?  Were you always the superstar of the team?  Well, today, you’re blessed with a beautiful child, a most important gift.  Remember your sports efforts while your child plays.  Share your past sports experiences of highs and lows and let them know that they too will have ups and downs.  Be a support to them and the sport itself will benefit them.  They will emerge each year from the sport of their choice a little better. Ultimately, the life lessons they acquire from these sports will help them achieve success in great things.

 Peace and Be More!