Sponsorship secrets: Boost your events with strategic sports marketing
Parents Kill Child’s Source of Happiness
Few things bring more happiness than the sight of a happy, bubbly child. And I got to see one recently when I was visiting a friend’s place. While we both were still engrossed in our talks, a little figure dashed into the house. It was my friend’s 8 year old son, Amit, back home after playing an invigorating game of football with his colony friends. With a mischievous smile plastered on his face, a twinkle in his eyes and a happy spring in his feet, I could literally see the excitement of the game still bursting from his body. Just as he was frolicking towards me, his father asked him “Toh, aaj jeeta ki haara?” ( translates to “Did you win or lose?”) That sentence pierced Amit, like an arrow laced with poison. It stung him so badly, that I could clearly see his excitement level, his eagerness to talk about the game and the joy in his eyes – everything come crashing down in a second! Halfway toward me, he hung his head down in shame, nodded in negative and quietly retrieved into his room. What a heart-wrenching sight it was! His father had not even realized what a grave ‘crime’ he had just committed! I use the word ‘crime’ because his father had killed something! – It was his son’s happiness! Winning or losing the game was surely the last things on Amit’s mind! He had gone out to play with his friends because he loved to – because it was fun! Why can’t we parents just leave it at that? Being a part of an Amateur Sports Management company, I interact with several sports parents on a regular basis and I have noticed this behavior among many of them. Being a parent myself, it has propelled me to share my views on this. So, what are we doing wrong? While this might not be a definitive list of parental traits when it comes to dealing with kids and their sports habits, it does address some of the critical aspects where parents go wrong and how it could be addressed. She Plays for Fun, and that’s OK! Who wouldn’t remember the Sports Day celebrations when they were in school? For me, it was a day filled with excitement, running around and just having fun! Things haven’t changed. Children, even today, love sports day. And the reason is because they associate sports with fun. But what used to be pure fun for children is no longer the same. Leave alone big events like Sports Day; these days many parents create such a brouhaha even when their child is playing an innocent game of gully cricket with his/her friends. We start over-intellectualizing and seeing our child’s games or love for any particular sport with a competitive lens, and even worse, also start forcing (sometimes unknowingly) the child to do the same. The moment we bring competition into the picture, a child’s perception about playing games or sports starts changing. The pressure of competition kills the joy of playing and slowly the child starts dreading it. We parents need to understand that, in this rat race to become “the superstar mom & dad” we have become extremely calculative and allow our child to play only if we foresee some advantage from it. That mindset needs to change. let them play just for fun!
Sports is a Great TeacherA playground is a school in itself. It teaches the child those skills which will be essential and beneficial for her as she grows up and starts facing the challenges of the real world. Unfortunately, an alarming 60% of parents feel that only studies matter; playing is a waste of time!! We say things like “He’s always playing! When will she study?”, “Khel ke kya seekhega?”(translates to “what will you learn from playing?“) We parents fail to see that playing sports teaches a child those skills that no textbook can teach. Here are some common examples
- That last crucial over whether he bowls or bats or fields is when he learns to handle stress. In sport one quickly learns to focus on the next play and not the end-result
- When he loses a game (and that will happen often), he learns to exercise self-control. It is a critical skill to learn “how to lose”. It’s OK to feel upset after losing but NOT OK to act in that anger!
- When playing as a part of a team, he quickly understands he has to play a role in the team and the importance of teamwork.