WHY IS IT SO IMPORTANT FOR YOU, AS A PARENT OR A CLOSE MEMBER OF A KID'S FAMILY, AND FOR THEM, KIDS AND PLAYERS, THAT THE FAMILY ACTIVELY PARTICIPATE IN THEIR PRACTICES, GAMES AND TOURNAMENTS.
Cheering is something we learned a long time ago. When we watch a TV game, we cheer. When we wait for a pregnancy result, we cheer. When we want for our friends and family members to be accepted in the College, we cheer. We cheer even when we don't even think we are cheering - like the day that you intimately cheer for your son's science project to be the best one in his class. Cheer is not only part of our positive emotions system, but also part of our most basic needs to be better than we were yesterday, to be accepted or to make a difference. And it is important not only for those who are cheering, but also for the one who are being cheered. When you cheer for your kid in a game they are playing, you are filling a basic need they have to know you are there for them. You are saying through your acts, that you support them in their journey, and that their choices are actually important not only to themselves, but to you as well.
Every time a kid wins, it is not only the kid who is winning. All the family, their parents, brothers, sisters, and sometimes even grandparents, should see a winning in the kid's life and their own winning as well. Therefore, being there to join the kids in the games, in the practices and in the celebrations is fundamental to engage yourself in the whole process and to show the kids, your kids, that their choice is much more than only a choice. It is a way of life that you've decided to share with them, for better or worse.
In the course of playing a game, there will always be moments of excitement, anxiety, frustration, and disappointment. When you are there with your children, showing your enthusiasm and expressing some of your own excitement and disappointment, your child will also, in some way, acknowledge these feelings. These brief moments present an opportunity: you will observe how your child attempts to cope with victory or frustration, and you can talk with them about it.
For most children (and, to be honest, for many adults) these games matter. They does not want to win; they needs to win. Winning, by whatever means, evokes in young children a feeling of pride; losing evokes a feeling of failure and shame. It would be difficult to overestimate the importance of these emotions in the lives of our children, especially young children. And you must be there to help them to overcome the results, no matter what they are. You must be there to let them know that your support is 'for life', and that winning or loosing is not the most important thing, playing is. And finally, you must be there to look in the eyes of your children, at the end of an important practice or game, and to say 'I understand', 'I am with you', 'We will get through this together'.
So, be present. Be there. Make an appointment in your agenda to participate at your kids' dreams. And cheer, and be mad, and get anxious - with them. This you help your kids to excel and to walk the way knowing that they can be helped, or cheered, whenever they need.
From Bravo Volley, a special thanks to the parents of our players, for being there!
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