How to Motivate Your Kid to Do Better at Sports

A therapist recently shared with me, “Never tell a child ‘you just have to try harder’ because if they could, they would. But since they can’t. They don’t. Finding out what inspires your child is what will motivate him to either do their homework or do better in sports.”


Since my oldest likes hockey and has repeatedly shared with me that he wants to be the best, I often tell him as of late, “Anyone can be the best at anything if they put their heart into it.  Like hockey.  You can be the best on your team.  But you have to want it so bad you are committed to practicing every day.  If you practice something every day and work hard at it, you will be committed and you will be the best.”

It was the first time he looked at me like he finally believed what I’d been telling him for years.  Seconds later, I turned to talk to one of my other kids and when I turned back, he was gone.

When I found him later, he was outside tightening his hockey net.  He didn’t see me watching him and I didn’t say anything but inside I wanted to yell for joy!  I inspired him!

That night he was climbing into bed and I sat down next to him, “Even when you are in bed, you can still practice!  Close your eyes.  See yourself hitting the puck into the goal.  Imagine yourself stealing the puck from a guy on the other team, now see yourself skating through every other player right to the goal and then feel your body shoot the puck and watch it go straight into the net!”

My son used to laugh at me when I tried to use visualization on him before, “Really Mom, how does that help, that is so stupid.”  That was until I made him watch the movie, “The Secret.”  Well I didn’t actually make him watch the movie, I turned it on and asked him to sit with me.  He sat down right at my side but played on his Ipad and looked up once in awhile.  Then I put it on a few days later and this time he paid more attention.  I have continued to play “The Secret” over and over the past few months and have noticed him become more and move in tune to what the video suggests.   So much so that yesterday, as soon as I put it on, my son went straight to the couch and watched the whole video without getting up and without touching his phone.

He never does anything without his phone in his hand!

So will all this make him play hockey better?  Maybe.  Maybe not.  His world is his own.  His dreams are his own. His journey is his own.  As long as he knows he is in control and has the power to do, get or reach anything he wants in this world, then I as his Mother, will know I have done my job well.

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