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Winning and Losing

Posted on August 23 2017

How to Teach Your Kids to Be Positive and Gracious Whether They Win or Lose


No one likes to lose, and losing can be especially hard on children who are just starting out in team sports. To get the most out of putting your child in sports, remember that you as a parent have a duty to teach your children how to deal with all aspects of the game, including winning and losing. On behalf of HKYSOX, here are some tips that can help you teach your child how to roll with whatever their sport throws at them.


Losing Isn’t the End of the World


Every parent would love their kids to do well in life, school and sports, but it’s important to teach your child that losing is part of life and it doesn’t have to be a disaster. Even if things don’t always go your child’s way, teach them that instead of focusing on what went wrong or taking all the blame for losing a game or match, they should recognize what they did well and understand how to improve in the future. To accomplish this, be careful what you say to them after their team loses a game. The way you talk to them when they’re children will be the way they talk to themselves as they grow older. Don’t over-criticize them for losing, but make sure they understand that you can’t win at everything.


Be a Good Role Model for Resilient Behavior


If you’re hoping to help child get better at accepting the outcome of a game, take a look at your own attitude. If your children overhear you complaining about the other team, the coach or the other parents, they will learn that that’s an acceptable thing to do after a loss. Likewise, don’t gloat or belittle the other team your child’s team wins.


Focus on What’s Important: Teamwork, Determination, Resilience


Whether your child wins or loses, it’s important to teach them what’s most important. Playing team sports is about just that: being part of a team. When your child loses, they need to avoid blaming themselves or getting angry at members of their team. When they win, they need to recognize that a victory in a team sport like soccer or basketball is a victory for all the team members, not just one exceptional player.


Also, show your children that no matter how the game turns out, it’s important that they keep trying to do their best and help their teammates do the same. At HKYSOX, we know that determination and drive are important qualities to instill in your children from a young age.


Qualities of a True Winner


It’s great to be the parent of a child that’s a star at their sport, but winners should be gracious about their success. Here are a few things that great winners do:


  • Congratulate other team members for their contributions
  • Act respectfully toward the other team and avoid gloating
  • Avoid taking all the credit for a win


Playing team sports helps children develop into well-rounded, team players with a healthy sense of competition. As part of this, parents should teach their children to be gracious and respectful when they win and to retain their positivity and determination even after losing a game. Browse the rest of the HKYSOX blog posts to learn more about how to help kids do their best in team sports.


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