How do you make sure your kid knows it is okay to make mistakes and loose in sports?

[deleted account] ( 5 moms have responded )

My son is seven and he is pretty good at most sports. He is especially good at soccer. The other day, he was trying to block the other team from scoring and by accident he kicked the ball into the opposing teams net. He started crying and saying another kid looked at him mean. He said he is a horrible player. The last couple of years, players, coaches, and other parents have told him directly that he is the star player and he is great. I don't want to put all that pressure on him. I want him to have fun and know that it is okay to make mistakes. I have tried to talk to him about this but, nothing I have said has worked. Anyone have any suggestions I can use??

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Cortney - posted on 09/22/2009




Tell him that no matter what happens you love him just the same. If he loses and feels bummed about it you could maybe take him to McDonalds or Burger King and get him any dinner he wants. Or you could also ask him where he wants to go and take him there.

Brandi - posted on 09/21/2009




Hey ladies, My daughter is 9 and just tried out for a traveling soccer team and MADE IT!!! Anyways, she JUST played a game yesterday againstthe hardest team in the league and they lost :( BUT we are ALWAYS telling her that she played awesome and we note when she does something well and like all kids she'll reply and say, "But i tried to get that one gaol and I missed? or "I passed the ball to the other team and then they scored and it's my fault". We always tell her "You're right, you did do that but look at what you did that helped your team mate" or "I would rather have had you try and get that goal or try and get the ball to your team mate, than to have had you not try at all" We actually had a little ego booster from the apposing team, one of the Mom's said to her "Hey #45, you're a great player. I liked how fast you ran on the field". I was so greatful. It is better for a child to hear that you are proud of them for making mistakes, because nobody is perfect. And as long as you try your hardest, we are proud of you.

Hope something I said helps :)

Sandra - posted on 09/21/2009




Wow, both of your ladies boys sound just like my son. His team has never lost a game and he is a really good player in soccer. His team lost one game this year and the kids we so sad and mad that after the game the couch sat them all down and said it is about having fun with your friends and we don`t care if we win or loss as long as we had fun in whatever we do. So he got all the kids to kick the ball around and have fun and make mistakes are okay.
One thing our coach does is he does not tell the kids that they are the all star player or your my best player because it puts too much pressure on the children and then the player is expected to play every game and get at least one goal or more. The coach asked parent, to also respect the rule of the game also. We as parent can praise them by saying great job bud but make sure all the children are told great job. One thing I have notice with a lot of the children my son plays with that they can be so mean it’s just the age they are at. I always tell my son to stand up to the one who are mean. Ask them why are they are mean? Also I thought we were team mates or my friend? Friends don’t do that to each other.
It is up to the coach to catch when other team mates are being mean or bullying other teammates around and making sure they are reminded it is all in fun. If the coach doesn’t catch it then parent or teammates should tell the coach. It’s all about team spirit.
I would talk with the coach and tell him about what is going on but ask him not to make a big thing about it but talk with the kids and ask them how they feel about losing games and winning and name calling.
I hope I have helped.

Dori - posted on 09/21/2009




If it is truly youth soccer than you should only have to reiterate what they are teaching. True youth sports leagues teach team work first!! Win, lose or draw they are a team!! When a team mate makes a mistake they should automatically be telling him to shake it off, its ok, don't worry about it! Anything short of that should be unacceptable! Youth sports is for evolving both your skills as a player and as a team mate! I always made sure my children understood that they were only one player and alone they didn't make a team! They were there to learn to play the game and to do their best anything short of that was unacceptable and if one made an error they did so as a team not as a player. They needed to win as a team and lose as a team!!

Jessica - posted on 09/21/2009




Take him to the park and make the same mistake! Then laugh at yourself for it! Tell him it's an oops, and make sure he knows that it's ok to make mistakes! My son is in the same boat, he's good at everyting he does, but he's really hard on himself, and he makes it not so fun for himself anymore. I've learned it's just as hard to be the mom of the star as it is to BE the star. You've got your head in the right place! Keep up the good work!

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