If your child is playing a team sport, they are working on developing an important life skill: working together as a team. Teamwork skills include listening, leading, communicating, problem solving, and collaborating. Here are some ways you can help your child learn to work well with their team.
Sports teams are made up of athletes with differences – there will be a variety of skill levels, communication styles, and personalities. A good coach will meet young athletes where they are. That could mean supporting players who need extra help, encouraging more introverted kids to join in, and helping more dominant players listen to and respect their teammates.
Make it part of your routine to check in on your child’s relationship with their peers and coach. Listen for any behaviors (positive or negative) that sound alarms. Is there any conflict brewing? How does the coach manage different learning styles? Is anyone being singled out?
Inclusive teams will welcome athletes of all backgrounds and abilities. But too often, certain kids are excluded in sports, especially youth with disabilities, youth of color, and LGBTQ+ youth.
When coaches, players, and parents work together, they can create a more positive sport environment for everyone.