The dropout rate of kids from group sports is around 70 percent, according to some research. The reasons? Parents, and bad coaching. Kids used to just play sports with their friends for fun, not necessarily for future scholarships or the ability to make their parents proud.
If you're committed to keeping your child active and you recognize the benefit group sports provide for kids, then you need to be very involved in your child's team. Your involvement is important because most group sports need levelheaded parents to provide support and leadership to the kids.
Level-headedness is important, because many parents who care more about winning try to take over kids' teams, which leaves many of the children feeling discouraged. Instead, help your children and their teammates focus on skills and good sportsmanship. This isn't to say that winning doesn't matter.
Children will not gain the benefits of the important lessons team sports offer if a thoughtful and communicative adult isn't around to discuss the experience with them. After a game, be sure to talk with your child about how the game went and how they felt about it. Remind them that playing well and that improving skills are more important than winning.
For children, competing doesn't have to be about winning. You can encourage your child and his team to focus on playing their best. Understanding the ups and downs of team sports helps kids develop good emotional intelligence, not just physical skills.
In the real world, of course, competitiveness is useful — it helps you improve yourself, get jobs, study harder, and practice when you aren't doing as well as you would like. It's a measure of success. What you need to remember is that winning is important, but that most winners get the point of both the game and the skills before they become winners. In other words, winning is more likely to come as a result of practice, not as a result of a competitive, mean-spirited attitude.