Competitive Sports: Helping Kids Play it Coolenparentshttps://kidshealth.org/EN/images/headers/P-sportsCompete-enHD-AR1.jpgSometimes the pressure to succeed on the field or in the court can be overwhelming. Learn what you can do to help your child keeps things in perspective.sports, sport, competition, competitive, pressure, compete, athlete, athletics, stress, anxiety, nervous, worried, worries, going gets tough, baseball, basketball, soccer, hockey, football, cycling, bike, playing, on the field, in the court, opponent, game time, get in the game, big game, angry, frustration, anger, coach, teammates, team mates, team player, sportsmanship, CD1Sports Medicine03/15/201102/21/201902/21/2019Amy W. Anzilotti, MD02/18/2019c093cf88-08b3-4f3c-a6c7-7676515aeadbhttps://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/sports-competition.html/<p>Sports are a great way for kids to have fun while staying fit. Sports also teach important life lessons like:</p> <ul> <li>working as a team</li> <li>learning how to be a <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/sportsmanship.html/">good sport</a></li> <li>overcoming challenges</li> <li>controlling emotions</li> <li>taking pride in accomplishments</li> </ul> <p>But it's not always easy to keep it together when it feels like winning is everything. Help your young athlete keep a healthy attitude about sports and develop<span style="font-size: 1em;">&nbsp;the tools to deal with the stress that comes with competing.</span></p> <h3>Check Stress Levels</h3> <p>Competing always leads to some <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/stress.html/">stress</a>. And that can be good &mdash; a little stress helps the body face a challenge. But too much stress can take the fun out of a sport and make it hard to perform. Besides competing, other things can make athletes feel stressed out, such as:</p> <ul> <li>too much pressure from parents or coaches to win</li> <li>having too much on the schedule</li> <li>not wanting to play the sport</li> </ul> <p>If you or your child think there's too much stress around competing, consider:</p> <ul class="kh_longline_list"> <li>Changing the focus from winning to putting in the best effort and having a positive attitude. Be sure the coach has the same outlook.</li> <li>Looking at your family's schedule. If your child has too much going on, think about limiting practice time or only doing one sport or activity per season.</li> <li>If your child doesn't want to play the sport anymore, find out why and make a decision together.</li> </ul> <h3>Ways to Deal With Stress in Sports</h3> <p>There will always be some stress in sports, so it's important for kids to know how to deal with it.</p> <p>Trying different ways during practice can help them find what works best for them. They can try:</p> <ul class="kh_longline_list"> <li><strong>Deep breathing:</strong> Take a deep breath and hold it in for about 5 seconds, then release it slowly. Repeat five times.</li> <li><strong>Muscle relaxation:</strong> Contract (flex) a group of muscles tightly. Keep them flexed for about 5 seconds, then release. Repeat the exercise five times, then move to a different muscle group.</li> <li><strong>Going to a happy place:</strong> Picture a peaceful place or event. Imagine stress flowing away from the body.</li> <li><strong>Visualizing success:</strong> Imagine completing a pass, making a shot, or scoring a goal.&nbsp;</li> <li><strong>Mindfulness:</strong> Focus on the present instead of worrying about the future or the past.</li> <li><strong>Having a routine:</strong> Focus on the routine to keep stress in control.&nbsp;</li> <li><strong>Thinking positively and developing positive self-talk:</strong> Say "I learn from my mistakes," "I'm in control of my feelings," "I can make this goal!" to help keep the negative thoughts away.</li> </ul> <p>To keep stress levels down when they're not competing, kids should:</p> <ul class="kh_longline_list"> <li><a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/myplate.html/">Eat well</a> and get enough <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/sleep.html/">sleep</a>, especially before games.</li> <li>Do something fun and relaxing. They can take a break from competing and go for a walk, ride a bike, see a movie, or hang out with friends.</li> <li>Remember that no one is perfect. Everyone makes mistakes in sports&nbsp;&mdash; it's part of the game. Be quick to forgive mistakes and move on.</li> </ul> <p>Sports are about staying active, feeling proud, developing as a player, and making friends. Above all, whether they play on the varsity team or at a weekend pick-up game, the point is to have fun. By keeping that as the priority, you can help your child learn to handle the stress that is a natural part of competition.</p>Deportes competitivos: ayudar a que los niños se los tomen con calmaAyude a su joven atleta a mantener una actitud saludable hacia el deporte y a desarrollar las herramientas que necesita para afrontar el estrés asociado a cualquier competición.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/es/parents/sports-competition-esp.html/de237a50-7817-4e9f-9487-3aeeee88a3c1
5 Ways to Deal With AnxietyWe all get worried or nervous about things. Here are 5 ways to control anxiety.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/teens/anxiety-tips.html/fecdd7b4-99f1-429f-85f1-e7ca81a96fc2
A Guide to Eating for SportsYou've prepared for the game in almost every way possible: but now what should you eat? Read about performance foods, nutritional supplements, and more.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/teens/eatnrun.html/d3921598-be66-48c4-9b71-39d58601f2e5
Childhood StressBeing a kid doesn't always mean being carefree - even the youngest tots worry. Find out what stresses kids out and how to help them cope.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/stress.html/59de098b-e356-4b1b-b504-c8afae76e1de
Choosing the Right Sport for YouIf you're having trouble choosing a sport, this article can help!https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/teens/find-sports.html/f3d963f1-3e0f-4edf-9408-cd0ce295742c
Dealing With Stress In SportsWinning is all that matters when you play sports, right? Not when that means you can't even enjoy the game. Read about how to handle sports pressure and competition.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/teens/sports-pressure.html/727cd770-30cc-43b1-90cd-fc2e4673eba0
How to Compete in SportsSometimes sports competition can make kids feel pressure. If it's too much, a kid might not have as much fun as before. Find out what to do if this happens to you.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/kids/pressure.html/447a48e3-0b5c-42bb-a62f-27e3a281a2bf
Relax & Unwind CenterWhen life throws problems your way, learn how to stay calm, de-stress, and solve problems.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/kids/center/relax-center.html/ed6fb808-a2de-4cc5-bec8-31fefba6f49c
Sports Medicine CenterGet tips on everything from finding the best sport for your kids to preventing and handling injuries.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/center/sports-center.html/9c890cb1-5179-4d0e-9f3e-c00b34e8469a
Sports and Exercise SafetyPlaying hard doesn't have to mean getting hurt. The best way to ensure a long and injury-free athletic career is to play it safe from the start. Find out how.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/teens/sport-safety.html/cbffad82-3814-4cbc-8758-dd3aac78c363
SportsmanshipSome people define good sportsmanship as treating the people that you play with and against as you'd like to be treated yourself. Learn more about what good sportsmanship is all about.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/teens/sportsmanship.html/57b7368c-5430-467a-bedc-d560629d9675
Stress & Coping CenterVisit our stress and coping center for advice on how to handle stress, including different stressful situations.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/teens/center/stress-center.html/31890be1-2161-48bf-9246-74d3be74d3b3
What If I Don't Like Sports?Sports can be challenging when you're new to them, but they also can be really fun. Take a second look at sports - and learn other ways to be active - in this article for kids.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/kids/no-sports.html/19064933-aa98-41f4-834d-d22ab4f4322b
kh:age-bigKidSixToTwelvekh:age-teenThirteenToNineteenkh:clinicalDesignation-behavioralHealthkh:genre-articlekh:primaryClinicalDesignation-gastroenterologyAndNutritionWeightManagementFamily Lifehttps://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/positive/family/3d677196-be08-46bb-ab9a-8e1460e9bdf7Training & Performancehttps://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/sports-medicine-center/training/958538d4-c43c-4e83-af74-05d1be169b87Sports Psychologyhttps://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/sports-medicine-center/sports-psychology/665f91dc-6dc8-48c1-ba27-00368547ffd4Emotionshttps://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/emotions/feelings/b0520316-31b1-481c-9869-510ceb0094d1