How to help a Child Deal with Sports Anxiety

Many parents encourage their children to involve themselves in sports because it is a good way to have them in social situations, have fun while exercising and create healthy competition which boosts self esteem. Just as adults have anxiety, children often have anxiety when it comes to certain types of situations. A huge source of anxiety for children has to do with sports. There are a variety of different reasons children might experience sports anxiety and it can be quite difficult for parents. However, there are a some easy strategies to help a child deal with sports anxiety.

Social anxiety

One aspect of sports anxiety for kids is the insecurity in large social situations. Children don’t have the huge amounts of social interaction in their lives because they mostly only deal with their immediate family on a regular basis. When dealing with a child with sports anxiety a great way to ease some of their insecurities about being in a larger social atmosphere is by introducing them to other areas where they can interact with children their own age.

Introducing your child to social situations more regularly will help ease their sports anxiety in that aspect because this will take the social aspect of the sport out of the equation. Enrolling your child in a non-sport activity at your local YMCA is a great way to put them in social situations outside of school. Simple classes like art appreciation, music dance class or fun time play at a youth center or YMCA can help your child associate social situations with fun, instead of an anxiety ridden event.

Practice at home

Parent involvement is a huge factor when it comes to dealing with your child’s anxiety in sports. Practicing sports with your child at home can help ease this anxiety and help your child become more familiar with the sport. This can be as simple as regularly taking your child to the backyard or park to throw around a ball. This simple gesture will ease your child into feeling more accustomed to the sports related activity and won’t have them feel as overwhelmed while actually involved in the sport away from the parent.

Specialty teams

When dealing with a child with sports anxiety, make sure to ease your child into the sport through a team that specializes in boosting the child’s self esteem and confidence. A great way to do this is to choose a team or league that encourages equal rewards among the children. This can be a guideline that mandates every child gets a turn regardless of their skill or a team that gives out special trophies to each child at the end of each game. This encourages the idea that everyone is a winner as long as they try their best and have fun. This is a great way to ease a child’s anxiety so they will understand the sport is meant to be fun and not a time to be nervous of winning or losing.

Sports anxiety is a major deterrent when it comes to child activities. However, dealing with their anxiety can help boost their self esteem, which can transfer to other aspects of their life. Helping to deal with your child’s sports anxiety will help them to feel more confident in trying new things and give a sense of pride in their achievements.