While we all tend to choose January 1 as our arbitrary date to start setting goals, our young athletes are able to set goals all year round. As parents, it is our job to provide our children with the proper advice and allow them to reach their full potential. Teaching kids how to set the right goals from a young age makes a world of difference in their lives and this guide provides parents with all the tips they need to guide their little athlete.
1) Start With One Goal
Adults are constantly burdening themselves by giving themselves too many goals to accomplish at once and our children are no different. Try not to bog them down with a series of goals, teach them the importance of focusing on one goal at a time. When a child sets too many goals at once, it is easier for them to get discouraged, so try to avoid excessive goal setting whenever possible.
2) Allow Them The Freedom of Choice
Once your child athlete has been taught the importance of choosing a singular goal, be sure to step back from the situation and allow them to choose it on their own. Child athletes often feel pressured to make their parents happy with their choices, so take the time to let your child know that the choice is theirs and that you will stand behind them regardless of what decision they make.
3) Provide Insight When Needed
The child should be able to choose a goal on their own, but it is also important to focus on the “why?” aspect of the decision. While a parent should not steer the child towards their chosen goal, it is their responsibility to help their young athlete understand the reasoning for their own decision. This allows them to develop a much deeper commitment to the task at hand.
4) Establish The Needed Steps
When a goal is first established, it can seem like an insurmountable task, especially to a child. That’s why parents must work alongside their young athletes once they have set a goal, to make sure that they are breaking it down into actionable steps, as opposed to taking on too much at once. Breaking down a goal into bite-size steps removes a great deal of burden from your young athlete’s shoulders.
5) Track Their Progress
Whether you are the child’s coach or merely an interested bystander, help your child track their progress. There are bound to be moments where the child becomes frustrated in their inability to make it to their chosen destination and this is where parents come in handy. If the child begins to struggle, you can remind them of how far they’ve come and do your best to build up their self-esteem.
If your child does a fantastic job reaching their set goals, or more importantly they are continue to learn the process, it’s another great opportunity to reward your child with a charitable donation towards something they care about in the world.
Want to help your child get back on the right track? Motive them to reach their goals and impact the community at the same time.
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