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Positive motivation works best on teenage athletes.
Teenagers benefit from staying active. According to "Psych Central," active teens are generally not only physically healthier but happier as well. As a parent, therefore, you might want to encourage your kid to participate in sports, even if he isn't very athletic or has recently lost interest in his favorite game. However, there is a fine line between motivating your boy and pushing so hard that he burns out. For this reason, it's important to use positive motivation.1.
Introduce your boy to new sports. According to the University of Wisconsin Hospital, the most important reason kids and teenagers play sports is because they are fun. If you find that your teenager can't be motivated to play popular middle school and high school sports like basketball, football and soccer, you should expose him to other sports that aren't as common, especially if you think he will find them fun. For example, you could go rock climbing one weekend or show him cool karate videos online. Eventually, he's likely to find a sport he likes or is interested in, and he will be motivated to try it.2.
Allow him to choose his sport. That is, don't push your teenager in a specific direction. If, for example, you were a star basketball player in high school, don't force him or put pressure on him to follow in your footsteps. Instead, be open to something else, like golfing or swimming. According to "Psychology Today," this is called intrinsic motivation, or self-motivation. Motivation should come more easily if he's not dreading every game or practice.3.
Rid yourself and your teenager of expectations. Winning is not everything. You want your teenager to think his sport is fun, rather than just a job, says the National Federation of State High School Associations. Once practice becomes a chore, he is much more likely to burn out. Never make your child think that you expect him to be the best. Instead, emphasize the importance of having a good time with the team, staying active and learning new things. Don't show disappointment if he chooses recreational over competitive sports.
- An open mind
- Never bribe your kid to play a sport.
- Don't push your teenager to train or compete if he is sick or injured.