Kids are eager to please everyone from their parents, to the coach, and to teammates. Unfortunately, this can lead them to push themselves beyond their limits. They end up feeling overwhelmed, affecting both their grades and sports performance.
Help your child find a healthy balance between athletics and academics and keep them from becoming overwhelmed by the expectations to juggle both.
The problem is that children aren’t always quick to admit when something is wrong. They try to deal with it and convince themselves it’s nothing. However, if your child is exhausted physically, emotionally, and mentally, all the pressure they feel may add up. Don’t let sports interfere with your child’s health and wellness. Here are ways to ensure the demands of being a student-athlete do not burden them:
When you talk to your child often, they know that you are always there for them to turn to when they have a problem. They need to know they can count on you.
Touch base with your child each day. Don’t ask the default “how was your day” question and think you’ve done your part in checking in on your kid. Ask specific questions that prove you pay attention to what they say.
Look for Signs of Burnout
If your kid seems overly fatigued or has lost enthusiasm for the sport, they may be burned out. Overtraining can cause them to be exhausted both physically and mentally. They may no longer show excitement for the game they once loved and fall into a slump. Check if their grades are dipping.
Are they getting adequate sleep? Are they displaying symptoms of depression? It’s crucial that you identify the signs so that your child can get the attention they need. Sometimes, all it takes is a break from sports.
Don’t Pressure Them with Your Expectations
We all want the best for our kids; however, it’s often our expectations that lead our children to feel pressured and overwhelmed. They’re scared to disappoint us, and instead of being honest about it, they push themselves to the limit. When it comes to their sports performance, praise them but never make them feel that you’re only proud when they do well. Commend them for their efforts even on days when their game is a little off.
Listen When They Need to Vent
Always show your support. If your child needs to complain about school or sports, let them air out their feelings. Sometimes we all need to get things off our chests. And as soon as we release the negativity, we feel better. Be present for your child by merely listening. Don’t pile onto the drama. Wait for them to ask for your opinion on what they should do. The best way to keep your kid from feeling overwhelmed is to help guide them towards what is best for them.
Student-athletes have a lot of pressure to deal with; however, most are happy to juggle both schooling and sport because they’re proud to. They take pride in their studies as well as the games they play. Unfortunately, when sports become more competitive, and classes get harder, kids can get overwhelmed. As their parent, it’s your job to guide them and ensure that you’re there to help them navigate through it all.