1) ROOT FOR ALL THE ATHLETES, NOT JUST YOURS
Just as you can pick out your son or daughter’s voice in a crowded room, your child can recognize your voice from anywhere on the field or court. Obviously you’re going to cheer for your own, but also cheer for the other players on the team, both generally and by name.
We frequently tell our children we’re there to support the whole team. However, when your voice is solely directed at them during a game, it reinforces the idea they are the only one you are watching and cheering for. To encourage your young player to see themselves as a valuable part of a larger team, it helps them to see that you value the whole team, too.
2) CHEER ABOUT TEAMWORK
It’s easy to praise great individual efforts or dramatic moments like a shot on goal, drive down the lane, or fantastic catch. What is harder, and less common, is to loudly cheer for great displays of teamwork. Cheer for great passes and displays of skills that you know came from deliberate practice. This is also a way to cheer for athletes that are more role players and are likely to have those singular dramatic moments.
Bill Walton, the NBA Hall of Fame basketball player, was an expert in passing and getting the ball to the players in position to score. Assists and great defensive play are just as worthy of praise and cheers as goals. Cheering specifically for displays of teamwork helps youth sports athletes recognize their efforts have been noticed.