Participating in sports is a core component of the high school experience for millions of teens. In addition to being active and building friendships, teen athletes gain numerous advantages when they play individually or as part of a team. Studies have shown that students who participate in any form of athletics earn higher grades and miss fewer days than their peers who aren’t involved. Whether they play football, run track or swim, your kids can get a lot out of their involvement in athletics. However, they can’t do it alone.
As a parent, one of your biggest responsibilities is supporting your children as they grow. Although participating in sports can be one of the best ways for them to learn good habits and develop skills that will last them a lifetime, it also can be a tremendous commitment for them and for you. Beyond the time and money these activities require, it’s also important to be ready to support your teen athletes in other ways. Otherwise, what might have been a promising extracurricular endeavor could fall by the wayside.
Although their coaches give them the training and encouragement they need to succeed on the field, parents also play a critical role in determining how well teens perform at sports. For example, simply being there at games or meets to cheer them on can be a powerful motivator for many. Even though they may not show it in an obvious way, knowing their families are there to see them compete helps high school athletes stick with it and make the most of their experiences.
Setting a good example at home is just as important as making sure your son or daughter always makes it to practice on time. This means serving healthy meals and keeping up with your fitness regimen. However, it’s also important to remember that teenagers will indulge in the occasional sugary snack or veg out on the couch once in a while. Being too strict about what they eat or how they spend their free time may end up pushing them away from sports altogether.
Supporting your teenagers throughout their athletic experiences can demand a lot from you, but the rewards can be well worth it. To learn more about what you can do to make sure your kids get the most from their activities and why it matters, take a look at the accompanying resource.