Backyard Sports Timeout – Where our coaches field parents’ questions about Team Sports and offer ways to make it the Fun, Enriching Experience it’s supposed to be
My daughter has some cognitive development issues and would not be considered a “mainstream kid.” She doesn’t play any sports even though her doctor says it’s okay for her to participate. She’s self-conscious and doesn’t feel she can do it. Is there any type of sport that would be good for her?
A: Every team needs participants that bring certain qualities to the team and it’s the job of the coach to make all kids feel relevant and important. Every player should feel like they’re making a meaningful contribution. That doesn’t always mean hitting home runs or kicking field goals or scoring points. To make a team sport experience successful for your daughter, it’s incumbent upon you – the parent – to know what that child is going to need, and in your case, it’s a coach with a patient perspective and personality style.
It’s also advisable for you to speak with the recreation department to identify a coach that can give your child a positive experience. Have a conversation with that coach before the season starts to identify your kid’s needs and let him know what your child is all about. In doing so, the coach becomes a partner.
I’ve seen it done many times. If a coach becomes a stakeholder in a child’s success, he’s going to make sure it happens. Especially if spoken to proactively, prior to the season start. I generally believe it’s within a parent’s right to go ahead and advocate.
The Big Takeaway: That’s our philosophy at Backyard Sports. We recognize that all kids are going to bring something to the team, regardless of their physical or cognitive abilities. And we recognize that everyone is a moving target and that for our program to be successful, every target must be met. That’s how we approach our kids. We realize that they can’t all be stars, but we’re going to make sure that every kid feels like they’re making a meaningful contribution to the team.
How do we do that? We identify the “glory” or support points. Maybe this kid is always the first one off the field at the end of an inning. This is the kid that is always cheering, making everyone feel better because he’s the first one going up to someone giving them a high-five. He’s the kid that builds the morale. And when you have a healthy morale, you have a team that hops, as opposed to a team that slumps with low morale. There are kids out there who possess this magic in their personality. They may not be the best player on the team, but they make the team stronger because they have charisma.
Backyard Sports provides weekend and after school sports instruction and game play for boys and girls ages 4-16 years old. Our programs are designed for EVERY child who desires a positive and healthy sports experience. #CompetitiveSportsDoneRight