There is no doubt that watching live sport as a family can be a hugely beneficial bonding experience. It’s a chance for mums and dads to relax and have fun, teaching the rest of their family about the rules of the sport and engulfing them in the exciting, adrenaline-fuelled nature of live action. From a sociological point of view, parents can use live sporting events to prove that it’s okay to lose and that the key is the taking part and having fun.
Sports psychologist, Dr. Jim Taylor, believes that watching sports as a family isn’t just about having fun and being entertained, he says it is about “communicating values, attitudes [and] ideas about sportsmanship”. Dr. Taylor claims that parents’ behaviour can be easily mimicked during live sporting events. He says that parents who display “persistent overinvestment” in their team’s performance will encourage their offspring to do the same. Taylor believes parents who display “rabid” fanaticism will hand this down through the next generation. Of course, the key is to excite them about fandom without using it as an excuse for bad behaviour on the sidelines!
Women’s soccer stars are great role models
If you’re looking for the best role models in professional sport right now, look no further than professional women’s soccer teams. The profile of women’s soccer couldn’t be bigger right now, with the success of this summer’s FIFA Women’s World Cup 2019. There is a tremendous sporting atmosphere at women’s soccer these days, with a great level of sportsmanship displayed and plenty of good role models on display to excite and inspire the next generation. Don’t fret if your nearest women’s team is a little too far away. All the leading sportsbooks and those new ones set for launch like FoxBet regularly offer live streams of the biggest women’s soccer leagues on their platforms so that you can watch the big game together at home if necessary.
Try to keep a lid on the passion of football games
For parents looking to spoil their family, perhaps as a special birthday present, the NFL and college football remain some of the most exciting live sporting options. Not only do the massive crowds create exciting atmospheres that they’ll never forget, it’s quite an easy sport to explain and teach. Just be mindful of your own behaviour and how this will reflect on others. Try and keep a lid on your passions, at least for the first few visits, to encourage your family to appreciate the game for what it is rather than let deep-rooted rivalries take hold so soon.
So, if you want some key takeaways from this article to help you when watching live sport as a young family, always keep in mind the following:
- In the first instance, try and remain objective when watching a live game. Don’t bad-mouth the losing team. Instead, try to find positives in both teams to foster sportsmanship and humility.
- Even if your team is losing, try to keep your cool. Don’t let your family get too worked up and frustrated. They need to learn that it’s okay to lose and when to accept that the opponent simply played better on the day.
- When you are sat in the stands at a live sporting event, be sure to alert your family to fans that are behaving well and enjoying the game. It’s a chance to highlight behaviour that’s frowned upon in live arenas, whether it’s throwing objects, swearing at officials or shouting out loud when spectators are meant to be quiet.
- Finally, it’s also a good idea to take your family to live sporting events where up-and-coming sports stars are taking part. It’s a chance to show your loved ones that anything is possible if they put their mind to it.