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Perhaps your child is the next Lebron James or Serena Williams? Or maybe they just love being with their friends and playing games. Whatever the case, sports are beneficial for any child and can help them in many aspects of their lives. Kids In The House has gathered some of the best sports doctors and experts to help you raise a healthy, happy, athletic child. Here is their advice for what to do before, during and after a game.

Before A Game

Children will naturally get nervous before any game or performance. It’s important, as a parent, to acknowledge that they may be feeling anxious and that it’s okay for them to feel that way. Natalie Hawkins, mother and manager of Olympic Gold Medalist Gabrielle Douglas, explains she has created routines with her daughter to help her feel comfortable before she competes. Together, they work on positive affirmations to build confidence. She also explains that they meditate before performances to calm Gabrielle’s nerves and help her focus.

Michael Gervais, performance psychologist for the Seattle Seahawks, also encourages athletes to do three things as they prepare for games. He instructs athletes to have a vision, set goals for that vision, and make a clear plan to accomplish those goals. If you can help your child do that, they will be better prepared and less nervous as they head into games.

During A Game

We’ve all seen those parents who get out of control on the sidelines, and perhaps you have been one of those parents at some point. However, we can all agree that this is not the best environment for anyone to perform well in. Psychologist Carol Dweck explains that a key part to motivating your child is praise. Don’t spend the game yelling at them to run faster, but rather show joy and passion in their perseverance. This will help them progress not only as an athlete, but they will develop skills as individual that will help them progress in all aspects of their lives.

After A Game

John O’Sullivan, Founder of Changing the Game Project, explains that the car ride home from a game is an important time between a parent and their child. Instead of going over every part of the game, O’Sullivan encourages parents to simply tell their children, “I love to see you play.” This helps kids understand that no matter what happens on the field or court, you love and support them. If they want to talk about the game, that’s okay, but let them take the lead in the conversation.

Do you still have questions for our experts? Join us for our #KITHangout, “SPORTS SEMINAR: How To Raise An Athlete,” on Thursday, April 23rd at 12:30pm PT. We will be joined by John O’Sullivan and Natalie Hawkins who will be answering your questions live! Click here to RSVP and start asking your questions.

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Do you have questions you want to ask our experts?

Join our #KITHangout “SPORTS SEMINAR: How To Raise An Athlete” on Thursday, April 23rd at 12:30pm PT! It's a Google Hangout hosted by Kids In The House with experts John O'Sullivan, Michael Gervais and Natalie Hawkins who will be answering your questions live. Start tweeting your questions with the hashtag #KITHangout!

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