We love involved parents who want their kid to excel in skiing. However, please refrain from putting yourself in your child’s place. On the Squaw Free team, each child is encouraged to do their best. Whether they win or lose the goal is to have fun and build confidence and self-esteem. There are so many levels of development within the age groups and each child is unique in where they might be. A slow starter could become a star once they get the proper techniques, confidence and strength. Please, positive comments only during all events! Your child will learn to love the sport through this positive reinforcement.
Parent Do’s and Don’ts:
- Minimize talk about the “big contest”. Chances are the big contest isn’t as important to your child as it is to you! The youngster will usually keep the event in the proper perspective. Keep pressure to minimum.
- Control your emotions and learn to relax. Support every effort to remove verbal and physical abuse from children’s sporting activities.
- Withhold criticism of other athletes.
- Avoid yelling instruction to your child when it is their turn. That’s the coaches job. If you try to coach, it will only make the athlete nervous and confused. Use general words of encouragement or key words that are positive.
- It can be detrimental to analyze your child’s performance right after the comp. Let the athlete have some peace and quiet and something to drink with his coach.
- Respect coaches. Communicate with coaches and discuss problems. Don’t criticize the coach, even if in your opinion he/she isn’t meeting your expectations. Please be courteous and remember that they are the professionals.
- Help your kids set realistic goals.
- Be realistic about your child’s ability. Don’t plan out their World Cup career just yet, but don’t write your child off just because he/she came in at the back of the pack. Kids mature athletically at different rates.
- Love your child no matter what, win or lose. Give them the praise they deserve. Don’t go to extremes with praise over a jump or run. Don’t dwell on a mistake or failure to deliver in the “big event”. You are not Vince Lombardi and your child is not a professional.
- Praise all the athletes after the competition is over, especially if they had a bad time. Be sincere: youngsters are very perceptive and quick to pick up on insincerity.
- Children are involved in skiing for their enjoyment and growth.
- Emphasize improvement
- Teach your child that honest effort is as important as victory. This will help them accept the results of each contest without undue disappointment, and is also important for future development outside of skiing.
- Relax, don’t take all this so seriously. It’s just for fun.