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The Thrill of Victory and the Agony of Defeat:  Sports and Your Teen

Sports in some form or another have been a part of teen life since the first caveman threw a rock at someone and he caught it.  Today they take up more time than ever, with practices, games and off season training consuming more and more of teen and family time.  Because of the priority sports play in many teen's lives, it is important to work with your teen to get the most out of their playing experience.

When talking to your teen about a sport he is pursuing, one of the first things you need to discuss is the time commitment.  Consider if the long term benefit of playing is worth the time and effort that both he and the family are going to put into it.
Next, remember that it is his pursuit, not yours.  It is important that you remember you are the driver and the cheerleader.  You are not the coach or the trainer, nor are you the one who is out there on the field.  Make sure to stay focused on your teen. Don't let their playing become about giving you a vicarious pleasure that makes up for the opportunities you feel you missed.

Another important thing to remember is to teach gracious losing, patience, and acceptance.  The sports field is a great place to learn that sometimes life just isn't fair.  There are bad calls, even prejudicial ones, and they have to be lived with.  There is a real chance that an unfair decision against your teen will bother you more than it does them.  That's fine, but try to keep your more virulent opinions to yourself.

Finally, do all you can to support the team.  Be at the games, volunteer to drive or bring snacks, and cheer, cheer, cheer.  I promise you your child will remember your cheering them on long after she's forgotten what the score was that day.

We'll teach you how to #LiveTo100!

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