From the moment they’re ready, parents sign their kids up for soccer, little league, football, and dance, so they can make friends and form lifelong healthy habits.
When your children are young, you usually only focus on them having fun while playing sports, but the older they get, the more there seems to worry about. Any parent will tell you they just want what's best for their kids, and they just want to see their kids succeed. But sometimes by trying to accomplish this, you end up putting a lot of stress on them, as well as yourself.
Everybody gets stressed, but when you don’t deal with stress, it can lead to lifelong health risks. When you let stress build-up, it not only makes you irritable and angry, but can also lead to a decrease in energy, headaches, upset stomach, elevated blood pressure, chest pain, and problems sleeping. As your kids grow, they will take on more activities, and sports may become a huge part of their lives, and as parents, the stress from their busy lives will fall on you.
As they continue to take on more sports and spend more time on the field, you spend more time watching them on the sidelines, and it’s easy to take your involvement, and your stress, a little too far.
Not only do you start getting upset with the coach for not giving your kid enough game time, or want to scream at the refs for making a bad call, but you also start to worry about whether or not your kids are being safe on the field and if there is anything else you can do to help improve their game. Are they drinking enough water? Should they be getting more sleep? What if I'm not feeding them the proper meals? Should they be working out during the off-season?
Before you start to panic, take a deep breath and check out some of our tips on reducing your stress on the sidelines while making sure your kids are staying safe on the field.
1.) Inform yourself and inform your kids.
Worried that your kids aren't drinking enough water? Check out this article.
Don’t know if your kids are doing the proper off-season training? Check out some of these strength and conditioning workouts.
Worried that last years sprained ankle is still acting up every time your child runs? Come in for a screening or schedule an appointment to see if your kids are ready to get back on the field.
Bottom line is to just do your research and give your kids the resources they need to succeed.
2.) Be self-aware and keep things in perspective.
Watch your sideline behavior. Before you start yelling, take a minute and remind yourself that it's just a game. Sometimes there is going to be a bad call, and even the pros miss a goal every once and a while. What's important to remember, and then teach your kids, is that it's not the end of the world if they fall short, as long as they are trying their best and having fun.
3.) Chill out.
Easier said than done, right? Try taking some deep breathing when you feel yourself getting a little too worked up over the game. Walk back to your car, close your eyes, and take deep breaths in and out through your nose. Hold a hand against your stomach and focus on the air filling it up. Try this for a few minutes and once you're feeling better, head back to the game.
4.) Focus on the now.
Don’t worry about last week's loss or if your child’s team is going to make it to the playoffs 2 months from now. Just enjoy the game, cheer on your kids, and let everything else disappear. You gave your kids all the resources they needed to succeed, and you know they are the healthiest they can be. Now instead of yelling at the refs all game, just sit back and watch them do great, but most importantly watch them have fun.
Stress may be inevitable, but if you can find some places in your life where you can decrease it, like on the sidelines of your children's games, you are not only enjoying more of the day, but you’re also creating healthy habits for yourself, that like everything else, you can pass on to your kids.