There are many benefits to playing sports as a child. It's a great way to add exercise into their daily life and is usually a fun and stress-free way for them to spend some of their spare time. But, playing on a team always means that there is a competitive element to the activity. They might just be on a recreational team at a community center down the street from your home and start to feel pressure as if they were on Team Canada. Here are some tips for keeping your child grounded even if they do have the pros in mind for the future. Losing is never the end of the world when it comes to playing hockey.
Most parents do not actively promote that winning in preferred to losing with the children to the point where they are creating pressure. But you should look to see if there is a different attitude when they win a game versus if they lose. Some teams like to celebrate a win by going out for food. This might be initiated by the coach, who takes everyone out, or just a parent. With smaller children especially this definitely fosters the belief that winning is favored to losing. (The content on this page has been brought to you by a local business)
Instead, a parent can find ways to reward or recognize their child's effort after every game that they play. Maybe instead of celebrating a win or a goal scored you could just congratulate them on an especially good pass or an improvement that the team has made together over time. You might not be able to take the entire team out to a restaurant after every game no matter the result but just a few kind words can go a long way.
A child can also feel that there is additional pressure placed on them if they believe that they need to be "perfect" in each thing that they do. Sometimes this can be caused by over complimenting them and setting unrealistic expectations. If they hear you telling everyone from here to there that they are the best on the team and should be captain than they will start to feel that is an expectation they need to maintain. Always do your best to treat them fairly and give them realistic goals for their own talents and abilities.
Lastly, don't feel that you need to be the perfect parent in front of them all the time either. While you likely don't want them to see you in those moments when you could use anger management, you can let them see some of your small failures and how you deal with them. Setting a good example is one of the most natural ways to be a good parent.