1. Find opportunities to praise mental triumphs as well as physical feats. "You looked disappointed when you missed the layup. It was an easy shot. But I love how you picked yourself back up and got back tough on defense! Way to keep your head in the game!"
2. Set goals together. Give rewards when the goal is accomplished. Simple, I know. But it's great practice for children start writing goals down.
3. After the game, ask your child to self-audit and identify areas of improvement. Give verbal praise when you see your child making the effort to self-correct.
"Great game today. What do you think you want to focus on this week?"
"Well I didn't have many assists, so let's work on passing."
4. Get excited and stay lighthearted on the way to games. Positive energy is contagious! Send them into the game pumped up and feeling like they can do anything. Or, if your child prefers to zone out, make sure they have whatever they need to get in their zone.
5. Make your child a playlist of their favorite pre-game songs.
6. Write a note and put it in your child's bag when you can't make a game.
7. Encourage kids to try out newly acquired skills in game. Miss or make, they're gaining confidence in their skill set.
8. Make up a secret handshake.
9. Write a theme song together.
10. Create a signature pre-game smoothie recipe. Here's one we like:
Beast Mode Smoothie
handful of raspberries
4 fresh pineapple slices
2oz orange juice
2oz coconut water
Blend until smooth
Comment below with your favorite way to encourage your young athlete!!
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