Encouraging Kids To Practice
A common complaint from parents is that they wish their kids would practice more or would practice without being asked to and while I wish it was easy, it does take encouragement and consistency from parents to develop practice as a habit. Here are a few tips for encouraging practice.
Pick a time that works with your kid's schedule. While some kids will like practicing right after school most often kids need some time to decompress and play after school so allow them the opportunity to relax and then practice.
Create a game or reward for practice. An easy system is to provide a reward (whatever your child enjoys such as ice cream or Starbucks) for practicing 10 minutes per day or 5 days in a row.
Make practice fun! Blast their favorite music, practice their routine super fast or super slow or with only one hand. Being silly is ok and kids love it!
Set a goal or better yet, have your child set a goal with respect to practice. Do they need to accomplish a certain trick? Do they need repetition? Set a goal based on what they need to accomplish. Make sure the goal isn't too big - start with a small goal like memorization and work towards other goals. Check out this practice workbook for a guide to perfecting routines. https://batontwirlingunltd.com/collections/teacher-resources/products/practice-workbook-for-individual-routines
Practice with friends! Friends make practicing more fun.
Reward all types of practice - even flipping the baton around in their room is better than nothing at all so give a compliment every time they pick up their baton or practice a routine.
Talk with your coach for ideas on what to to practice and how to accomplish their goals. Coaches are a valuable resource for athletes so ask for their advice!
Practice is a habit that takes a while to develop so encourage small steps in your journey to become a dedicated practicing athlete.