Under pressure

Under pressure

Competitive sport can cause nerves – and not just for the kids. How do mums cope with the pressure of watching their children win or lose?

If you’ve ever stood on the sideline with your nails digging into your palms, you’ll know just how stressful being a sports mum can feel. It’s important to learn how to manage that stress, and not just for your own sake but for your child’s. Your children learn from you – they may not do as you say, but they certainly do as you do.

Looking after yourself
A lot of mums are guilty of looking after everyone else and forgetting about themselves, but you’ll handle all pressure – whether that’s seeing your son miss an all-important goal or meeting a deadline at work – if you make sure you take care of yourself properly. This means making sure you get enough sleep, taking regular exercise, eating a healthy diet, staying hydrated and avoiding too much caffeine and sugar both of which can make you jittery.

Don’t forget mind as well as body. Some people find mediation helpful but even taking ten minutes sitting quietly by yourself away from the hurly-burly of life will help.

Don’t forget to breathe
In times of stress, a lot of us don’t breathe ‘properly’. Try putting your hand on your belly and inhaling through your nose. Your belly should move as you breathe in. Hold the breath for a few counts and then slowly exhale.


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Be a good role model
The sign of a true champion is the ability to bounce back after a disappointing game or event, and the ability to keep going when the going gets tough. You can help your child with this vital part of their athletic development by being a good role model (and not a Nightmare Sports Mum!). Here’s how:
- Cheer everybody on, not just your child
- Keep things in perspective
- Model appropriate behaviour. Stay calm and positive, whether they win or lose
- Never undermine the coach. Even if you did think it was DEFINITELY a penalty!
- Don’t live your athletic dreams through your child
- Make sure your child knows you love them, no matter what

Share your tips with other mums

Have you got a budding Olympian in your family? Are you a ball of stress in the stands or do you stay cool regardless of the score? We’d love to hear your stories and advice.

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It's so important not to put pressure on little ones as they feel our stress and definitely is important to remind children that winning is not important it's having fun and being happy :)

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