Parents want to see their children succeed in sports, and when those children are gifted with exceptional ability in sports, it can be a source of pride for the entire family. However, when children possess athletic talent, there is a need for parents to come alongside and provide their children with a few words of wisdom. In some cases, ability can outstrip maturity, and there are circumstances where gifted children may not know how to maturely view their own talents. That is why it is important to provide support and direction for athletic children and give them guidance about handling their talent responsibly. Below are a couple of perspectives that might be helpful:
Recognize there are many different types of giftedness
Whenever a child is skilled at a particular activity or possesses exceptional talent, it can sometimes narrow their own experience of the world. In fact, there are times when some athletically talented children compare every other endeavor to their own sport. This can warp the viewpoint of child athletes to such an extent that they either fail to consider the importance of other pursuits or even downplay the non-sports accomplishments of other children.
That is why it is important for parents to impress upon their children the need to recognize there are many ways for other children to express their own particular talents. Music, art, dance, and even academic accomplishments are all valuable pursuits, and giving your child a broader perspective can help make them appreciate other children. To make this knowledge practical, you can expose your children to other activities by taking them to a concert, view an art exhibition or to a non-athletic contest.
With great ability comes great responsibility
Another value worth impressing upon your child athlete is that talented individuals are often given more responsibility in life. In the realm of sports, this may mean the best players are given official positions, such as being appointed captains, or unofficial roles where they are expected to demonstrate on-the-field leadership. In addition, the most talented players often are tasked with delivering in the most critical moments of a game, and coaches will lean heavily upon these individuals during crunch time.
Of course, this doesn't mean you should expect your child to be perfect and always deliver the game-winning hit, score the big touchdown or make the final shot. However, it does provide a teachable moment for your child to understand how to handle their giftedness and to be good stewards of their own talents and skills. Impress upon your child that using their abilities wisely doesn't end on the field; instead, show them that throughout life there will be opportunities to use their talents in a variety of venues. Whether in athletics or in the future world of work, those lessons will continue to bear much fruit for your child if they heed them.
For more informaiton, cotnact a parenting therapist.
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