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Determination and hard work

At Enjoy-a-Ball, we understand that we’re not just teaching children sports skills; we are teaching lifelong lessons that will help shape the teens and adults of tomorrow. That is why we feel it’s important to integrate life skills  into our curriculum.

Enjoy-a-Ball and Physi-Ball. We teach skills.


The ability to continue trying to do something, although it is very difficult.

There is no doubt that being determined can have a huge impact on what you achieve in life. As adults we are constantly aware that we can work hard and keep on trying.  Or quit (and live with that niggling regret).  Saying that, there is nothing wrong with acknowledging when it is in your own and everyone else’s best interest that you stop what you are doing. There is a fine line between determination and bull-headed stupidity (we all know that one person who just can not let it go 😉  ).

But I am drifting off topic.

Hard work and determination are important values to teach children and it can have a lifelong impact on their future capabilities, confidence, and happiness. Teaching Enjoy-a-Ballers to persevere when the going gets tough and to work hard to achieve their goals is one of the most important skills our children can learn.

Teaching determination in their Enjoy-a-Ball class (and at home):

  1. Praise the effort rather than the accomplishment

Children are naturally going to want to continue actions that are positively reinforced by the adults around them. If they’re praised more profusely for being naturally good at kicking a goal than when they work hard (but fail) at serving a tennis ball, they’re learning that they get more praise from doing things that are easy to them instead of learning that it’s okay to take time to learn something that is a little more difficult.

  1. Give specific praise

“Great” or “good try” doesn’t give your child the important information they need about their actions to learn. When we praise, we are specific about what we saw and what we’d like them to continue doing in the future.

“You worked so hard to be able to bounce that ball while moving! With all that hard work you will soon be dribbling the ball and playing basketball!”

  1. Let them fail

Nobody likes to see their child fail, but even this can be an important learning experience for them. If your child fails, we don’t focus on what they did wrong or what they could have done better; we talk about the hard work and determination they showed while they were trying to master a skill.

  1. Help when necessary but never take over

Sometimes a child really does need help, and when that happens it’s important to remember not to take over. We focus on guiding your child – show them and let them try by themselves. Remember that letting them accomplish a task on their own not only teaches them determination and hard work, but also teaches them that we have confidence in them and believe that they are capable of learning how to do things by themselves.

Teaching at home:

  1. Show by example

You are teaching your kids by example every single day whether you recognize it or not. Intentionally doing things that take hard work or determination in front of your kids teaches them that even as an adult it’s important to work hard to achieve your goals.

  1. Talk about things you work hard at

Talk to your kids about something that happened to you where you thought about giving up but decided to try again instead. Tell him or her about a mistake you made and how you problem-solved to create a better outcome. Tell your child about something that was really difficult that you accomplished. Encourage your children to talk to you about things in their life that they work hard at, too! These conversations help fuel the thought processes behind hard work and determination.

Any thoughts on teaching hard work and determination? Get in touch.

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