Once again, your child ran ¾ of a length of a football field to score the winning touchdown after a tough tied game. This isn’t the first time your child has done this. Congratulations! You must be proud, and so is your child. But how do you keep your star athlete humble?
1. Be humble yourself. Your child will learn from how you behave and react. If you’re cocky, he (or she) will be, too. Model the behavior you want to see.
2. Always be sure to recognize the hard work of others on the team. Your child wouldn’t have made the touchdown without that great throw from the quarterback. If the linebackers hadn’t protected him, he couldn’t have made it down the field. Keep those things in mind and gently remind your star that it takes a village…
3. You win some and you lose some. Sometimes that three-point basket just goes in. Sometimes it bounces off. There’s skill and luck and trajectory and all kinds of things that go into that success. This time it worked.
4. Remind your child how others feel. It’s great to be successful, but not everyone is. Your child is fortunate to be so skilled in sports, but keep in mind that it’s a blessing.
5. Remind your child that arrogance and cockiness can turn people off. It’s about being a team player, not about being a show-off.
6. Just as Peter Parker learned, “With great power comes great responsibility,” remind your child that of his skills, other kids will naturally look up to him as a leader. Your child will need to display good judgment on and off of the field.
7. Teach respect for everyone — coaches, teammates, other teams, referees, etc. There will be a day when everyone’s blaming someone for a bad call. If your child is a good sport and handles himself well, this behavior could spread. Imagine a baseball field where no one yelled at anyone and people were respectful for one another. Your and your child could lead by example.
8. Teach your child not to boast about his or her achievements. Let others recognize them instead.
9. Remind your child that winning isn’t everything. Sometimes people get addicted to success. Each continued win only leads some to fear the day that they’ll lose and how people will react and how people will treat them. Will they think less of him? These kinds of pressures that come with success aren’t something many people think of. But if you praise your child for lots of varied successes – “Great job getting your homework done before dinner” or “Thanks for cleaning your room today,” your child will know that you love him or her for who he is, rather than for the success on the field.
10. Encourage your child to try new things. Is your child great at football? Why not give baseball or basketball a try? Whether you try it privately in the backyard, or try out for the school team, your child will learn to be humble as he sees what it’s like to try a new sport and be on the learning curve.
It’s basic instinct to celebrate our victories, and everyone has a right to be proud of their achievements. The trick is not to boast, or be cocky or cease to be a team player. With your guidance, your star athlete will be humble, respectful of others, and will be a model leader with skills that will last a lifetime in any arena.