Kids don’t dream of watching the exciting game play out, as they sit out.
Warming the bench – especially done on a regular basis – can be frustrating for children. But being a reserve player teaches children how to deal with difficulty. It challenges them to work hard and to always be game ready for when their time comes.
Instead of listening to your child pout about sitting out, challenge your second stringer to think of it as an opportunity. It puts the game – and their specific role – into proper perspective.
Benchwarmers Play Relevant Role
Every player is important to the team. Especially the kids on the bench. This can be a hard concept for kids to grasp. How can they benefit the team if they barely get any playing time?
For one, being a team player means supporting the team as a whole. They can either bring negativity to the team by sitting there sulking, or positively affect the team by cheering and encouraging the others.
In practices, the second string challenges the starters. By playing tough and keeping the competition fierce, the entire team gets better.
From Frustrated To Focused
Kids who want to move into a starting role should look at their reserve status as a challenge to work harder and improve their skills.
They can talk to the coach to find out what specific things they should work on. Then focus on those areas with extra practice.
While on the bench, kids can study the game and learn from the other players. This helps their situation far more than feeling sorry for themselves thinking, “I should be playing right now.”
Make Benching Bearable
A benched kid can be just as hard on the parents – if not harder. But bad mouthing the coach or other kids will only hurt your child’s chances of playing more. Plus, it sets a bad example for your young athlete.
Try these steps to make the benching more bearable:
First, before you even sign your child up, check out the team and learn as much as you can about them. Are the kids having fun? Is the coach intent on winning at all costs or is playing time for all kids encouraged? Knowing these things ahead of time prepares you and your child for what may happen during the season.
If your child gets benched, make sure they ask the coach what they can do to improve. If necessary, you may want to talk to the coach. Just remember, coaches have many things to consider and have specific reasons for their actions. Try thinking like a coach and be open to seeing their side of things.
Consider hiring a private sports coach to help your kid gain the necessary skills needed to move into a starting role. An individual coach can help motivate, inspire and challenge your child while instructing them and improving their skills.
Finally, continue to support your child by attending games, cheering for the team and offering encouraging words to your child on game day. Help your benched child make the most of the situation and your kid will be all the better for it.