What To Do When Your Young Athlete Has a Bad Day

What To Do When Your Young Athlete Has a Bad Day

Posted by James Dewar on 30th Jan 2024

As a parent, it’s only natural that you want to see your child succeed. Whether it’s attending games and practices or cheering them on from the sidelines, there’s no length you won’t go to ensure that your child feels supported in their athletic endeavors. But what happens when they have a bad day? It’s difficult to watch your child struggle and feel defeated. Follow along as we discuss what to do when your young athlete has a bad day so that you can provide the support they need.

Validate Your Child’s Feelings

When your child has a bad day on the field or court, it’s vital that you validate their overall feelings on the matter. Telling them to “shake it off” minimizes their feelings and can make them feel unheard. Instead, try to empathize with their emotions by saying things like, “I’m sorry you had a tough game,” or “I know it’s tough to lose.” Validating their feelings shows them that you understand how they feel and that it’s OK to have off days.

Focus on the Positives

It also helps to remind them of what they did well during the game or practice. Acknowledge their efforts and highlight the areas in which they succeeded. For example, “You may not have won the game, but I saw you give it your all, and that’s worth being proud of.” Focusing on the positives shifts their perspective and helps build their confidence. After all, playing a sport isn’t always about winning; it’s also about staying active and growing your child’s skills as an athlete.

Encourage Them to Take a Break

Kids devote a lot of time to their sport, but that doesn’t mean it should consume them. Bad days can often signal the need for a mental or physical break. Encourage them to take some time to relax and recharge. It can be helpful to disconnect from their sport or activity and do something entirely unrelated, such as watching a movie or playing a board game. Taking a break allows them to decompress and come back with a refreshed mindset and energy.

Teach Them the Importance of Perseverance

Another thing to do when your young athlete has a bad day is to remind them that setbacks and bad days are part of the journey. Encourage them to try again and never give up, no matter the challenges they face. They will learn from their mistakes and come back even stronger.

Be Their Number One Fan

Above all, make sure you’re their biggest cheerleader, even on bad days. Your child often needs someone on their side during losses or low-performance days. So, go the extra mile to support them by making signs, cheering louder than everyone else, and even wearing custom merch with your child’s name on it.

Supporting your child through their bad days is crucial. By doing so, you can ensure that they’re taking a balanced approach to their active lifestyle and that they feel comfortable coming to you with concerns. This is also important for making your child feel special when they need it. Stinky Lockers offers personalized merch, like our volleyball player stickers, that put your kid in the spotlight. Let us help you craft items that make your athlete see that they have their very own set of fans.

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