Our kids learn so much from participating in youth sports, not the least of which is competition. When my daughter started playing youth soccer at five years old her mom and I really didn't know how she would react to being in a competitive environment. She was a fairly quiet kid who did not exhibit any aggressive tendencies. Of course soccer is a fantastic first sport for any youngster as they naturally love to run around and chase a ball.
Your athlete should embrace the art of competition without focusing on the results. At the end of any sporting event we applaud both teams for their effort regardless of the score. It's the mere act of competing which makes us stronger physically and emotionally. Your athlete will learn so much about him or her self by simply stepping into the athletic arena and giving it his or her all. The results are just the icing on the cake.
To the many parents who withhold their kids from athletic competition I believe they are doing a tremendous disservice to their children. Again, I believe it is our nature to compete and the desire to compete is a survival mechanism. To rob a child of that makes no sense to me.
Competition teaches your athlete to persevere through adversity, to play with pain and discomfort, to push him or herself beyond old limits, to become mentally tough, to respect the opponent, and to appreciate the accomplishments that hard work and preparation brings. Do these sound like good life lessons for your athlete to learn? The value of competition is immeasurable and one I hope you encourage your athlete to embrace 100%.
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