Christine Yu and I have a lot in common – we like avocados, triathlons, and writing.
OK, avocados and writing. She’s a mother of two and a fantastic writer who transitions with ease from yoga to surfing to poignant posts about life on her hugely popular blog Love Life Surf.
It’s an honor to host such a revered writer as Christine here on Coach Daddy.
Her boys, Jasper and Everett, are more blessed than we, her readers. They’re getting an incredible mentor in life. Today, Christine shares with us five things she hopes her boys learn from sports.
I loved the post, and I know you will, too.
I grew up playing sports and being active, creating some of my fondest memories with my family and friends. I learned a lot from those experiences. I always knew that I wanted my kids to have those experiences and memories too.
But it hasn’t exactly been easy to convince my kids to participate in sports. I mean, they love to run around and chase each other and jump and play. But ask them to do that within an organized setting with other children and a “coach”? No way.
They are the slow-to-warm-up, reluctant-to-try-anything-new types. They like routine and they like the things that they like. In particular, they don’t like trying things that they are not familiar with because they don’t want to embarrass themselves. Inevitably, once they try something for the first time, they love it. That’s what happened with swimming, skiing and surfing.
I want my kids to continue to be involved in sports and to continue to expand their horizons, not because I expect them to be the best player on the field or athlete in the pool but because I think that there are some really important lessons that they can learn from the experience.
5 things that I want my kids to learn from sports
1. It takes practice.
This is pretty much the mantra around my house, particularly for my oldest son. He’s smart and he gets things quickly except for sports. Sports come a bit less naturally. Plus, he doesn’t like to be “bad” at something.
With him, we’ve been trying to emphasize the importance of practice and how everyone needs to continue to practice – even grown-ups like Mommy and Daddy.
I make a point of telling him that I’m going to practice my swimming or running. And we celebrate the small victories and improvements and find opportunities for him to play in a low-key setting.
2. It’s not just about being good.
While it does take practice, it’s not just about practicing in order to be good or the best at something. We can’t all be good at everything that we do, but we do need to try a bunch of different things in order to figure out what it is what we like and enjoy doing, and to learn what are strengths are.
3. Losing isn’t the end of the world.
Well, for a 4- or 6-year old, it is but I do think that it’s important for my kids to lose and experience that. It’s not that I want my kids to fail all the time or that I would put them in situations in which they are constantly disappointed. However, I do believe that it’s important for kids to learn how to lose well, to learn that it’s not the end of the world, and to learn to pick themselves up and try again. See #1 and #2.
4. You have to work together.
As you see from the list of sports that my kids have tried and liked, they are primarily individual sports, which is awesome. However, I would like them to try a team sport too because I want them to see how a team works together and is dependent on each of its parts, and how it’s impossible to go it alone. My kids want to do everything all themselves. But sometimes? You can’t do it by yourself and you have to work together and ask for help.
5. I’m proud of you.
No matter what, I want my kids to know that I’m proud of them for stepping out onto the field or jumping into the pool. I’m proud of them for trying, even when they were unsure or scared and especially during those times.
# # #
Christine Yu is author of the blog Love, Life, Surf where she shares her love of fitness and stories about her experiences as a mom of two young boys trying to balance, work, family, fitness and healthy living. You can also find her on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest.