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Wednesday, October 7, 2009

How to Talk to Your Kids About Sports

By Jay Granat

Anyone who has been to a sporting event involving children knows that parents can get out of control. We are living in a highly competitive world and a "win at any cost" attitude is visible when our kids participate in school sports and town sports.

It is also clear that many parents are living vicariously through their children and they are overly identified with their kids. It is also apparent that moms, dads and coaches need to communicate with kids about sports in a supportive and positive manner. Since I counsel athletes, coaches and parents, I see these problems in my office all the time.

My own son is quite involved with baseball at the time that I am writing this piece and I am trying to talk with him about his participation in a positive manner. I try to focus on what he enjoys, what he learns, the other kids, the coaches and the experience. I always ask him about the outcome and his performance last. I remain positive and supportive throughout our talks about sports. Perhaps these questions and my conversation with my boy will guide you as to how you might talk to your kids about their athletic endeavors.
Here is our phone conversation from last night-

Dad: Hi Zack, it's dad.

Zack: Hi daddy.

Dad: How was your game?

Zack: Good.

Dad: Did you have a good time?

Zack: Yes.

Dad: I hope you had some fun with the other kids.

Zack: I did.

Dad: What did you learn that was knew, interesting or fun for you tonight?

Zack: I learned that I have to blow on my hands to keep them warm while I pitch.

Dad: That's a good idea. Anything else?

Zack: Dad, I pitched, I walked two guys, but no runs were scored over two innings.

Dad: Terrific. What did the coaches say?

Zack: They said good job! They brought me in after the starting pitcher beaned two kids.

Dad: How did the warm up go?

Zack: Good.

Dad: How did Steven do at the plate? He has been struggling lately.

Zack: He got a hit tonight.

Dad: How did the team do?

Zack: We tied 6-6 after being down 5-1.

Dad: Sounds like a great comeback and a great game.

Zack: It was a good game.

Dad: How did you do at the plate?

Zack: I went one for 3 with a walk and scored once. I struck out once too.

Dad: Nice job. Everyone strikes out-even Derek Jeter. In fact, major leaguers only get a hit about once every three or four trips to the plate.

Zack: Yeah that's right. I never thought of it that way.

Dad: When is the next game?

Zack: Next week on Tuesday.

Dad: I am seeing patients on Tuesday night, so I can't make it, but I will be thinking about you for sure.

Zach: Bye, daddy.

Dad: Good night son. I love you.

Zach: Love you daddy.

Jay P. Granat, Ph.D. is a psychotherapist and the founder of http://www.stayinthezone.com - He has written several books and developed several programs to help people perform to their fullest potential at sports, at work and at school. Dr. Granat, a former university professor, has appeared in The New York

Times, Good Morning America, AP, ESPN, Golf Digest, The BBC and The CBC. He can be reached at info@stayinthezone.com - His books include Zone Tennis and Get Into The Zone In Just One Minute. He is also the author of How To Get Into The Zone With Sport Psychology And Self-Hypnosis, How To Lower Your Golf Score With Sport Psychology And Self-Hypnosis, 101 Ways To Break Out Of A Hitting Slump and Bed Time Stories For Young Athletes. Golf Digest named Dr. Granat one of America's Top Ten Mental Gurus. He was recently featured in a documentary film on long distance running. Dr. Granat writes a weekly column for three newspapers.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Jay_Granat

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Hello Baseball Friend,
I welcome any comments or suggestions. If you have a question or a topic that you would like to read about, please leave a comment and I will try to address that topic as soon as I can. Good luck in the coming season!
Have a great day, Nick