Engaging with Your Children Through Sport

Children’s sport Singapore

Thanks for sending your children for sports at Shaws Little League for fun and learning here in Singapore - holiday camps too.

You may have read our recent articles regarding preparation, confidence and dealing with winning and losing over the last few weeks.

For this week, I want to share a bit about my personal life and about how I engage with my children through sports and games.

My two children are now aged 11 and 9 and when time and weather permits, we spend an amount of time playing and engaging in sports and games – tennis, golf, cricket, soccer, rugby, just taking a ball to the park, bike rides, jogging/sprinting, family workouts, 8 ball, board games, etc…

I find playing sports and games with my children is very fulfilling and it sure beats checking their homework and school projects. It has also helped me learn and develop a lot as a parent too.

Here are my tips for engaging in sports and games with your child:

–       Play to their level, no need be condescending and belittle them

–       Reward them for effort – giving 100% for a while deserves a victory, right?

–       Children do not need to know how amazing you are or were – they already know you can run faster than them, are stronger than them, smarter than them

–       Live and play by those values that you wish your children to have

–       Children do look up to you – your conduct and behavior and not necessarily your performance – remember this when they are watching you play competitively – how you interact with referees, teammates, disappointment and success

–       Take the game “deep” – it allows more opportunities for practice, thinking and learning

–       Help, mentor and guide them – share your experiences and learnings

–       Sport may not be for everyone but the learning from sport is for all kids

–       Laugh with them, not at them

–       Enjoy the after-match and look forward to the next encounter

–       It’s okay to win sometimes!

See you all at Shaws Little League for more toddler sports fun and big kid sports fun too.

Kids Sport Singapore: Improving Just 1% at a Time

Toddler Sport Singapore

Two weeks ago, we wrote an article about what having fun meant at Shaws Little League. We briefly discussed the factors that make our children’s sports programme fun – participation, improvement, opportunity, not keeping score, effort, engagement, thinking and keeping it real. This week is about how we go about improving your children and it’s not just about sports.

Constant improvements, no matter how small, can win the race. It’s not about getting it perfect the first time, it’s about getting yourself up after a bad day, learning from failure and going back to try again – and maybe this time you’ll see just a little itty-bitty improvement. It’s these little improvements, time after time, that build into big improvements; the big improvements that help to develop your children’s confidence and belief in themselves.

One of our favourite quotes is by sports’ most beloved figures, Vince Lombardi: “Perfection is not attainable, but if we chase perfection we can catch excellence.” That’s exactly what New Zealand did in the America’s Cup Yachting Race, by chasing perfection they achieved excellence and more recently Roger Federer at Wimbledon. This concept is exactly how we treat all of our little sports champions at Shaws Little League.

It’s with this approach that we start our days here at Shaws Little League. Each child has their own natural talents, gifts and abilities. Our interest lies in helping your children improve 1% all the time.

You have all seen your children hit lots of balls off the baseball tee. Whilst it is lots of fun and very tiring hitting so many balls, each of those fun children’s sports moments is an opportunity for the children to improve their hitting skill and coordination. It also provides an opportunity for our coaches to observe your child and offer tangible, relevant and small doses of sports advice that will help your child develop further.

Being able to hit the ball off the tee is not the end goal, we want all of the children to be able to step up to the plate, face our coaches’ fastest pitching arms (we do practice) and imagine what it would be like as an MLB player.

Why do we focus on 1%? Because it is easier for the children to understand. Our sports programme is not about showing you all how knowledgeable and talented our coaches are, but it is about doing appropriate things that will help your children improve. A series of 1% improvements over a period of time makes for quite a high amount of improvement overall.

Imagine if as parents, employers, employees, athletes, coaches we improved 1% each week for a year like our children do in our sports programmes – how good we would be at our chosen sport, profession or even parenting? And how happy and fun would it be to achieve that level of improvement?

See you all soon at Shaws Little League for some Singapore Children's sport fun.

Staying Fit and Healthy This Holiday Season

Staying Fit and Healthy This Holiday Season

It’s that time of the year – the endless holiday parties and celebrations, bubbles, forgetting about your 2017 New Year’s resolutions and all those worries about staying fit and healthy.

So here are some tips from Shaws Little League for staying fit and healthy this holiday season:
– Do some exercise! Anything – run, swim, cycle, go to the gym, dance, stretch, yoga, play sport – at least 30 minutes per day. Something is better than nothing.
– Get active with your kids. Enjoy making some life-long holiday memories and burning calories at the same time.
– Do whatever you enjoy – that way it won’t be a chore and you are more likely to exercise for longer.
– Get the heart rate and the sweat up – push your body a little bit
– If you love drinking alcohol – add 10 minutes of exercise for each alcoholic drink – it could lead to some long exercise sessions!
– Eat! Properly and wisely – fruit and vegetables are also quite nice over the festive period.
– Drink! Some water too!
– Be Merry! No need to watch the scales too much. Just make good decisions.
– And if it gets too hard, always ask yourself… does Santa watch his diet?

Overall, remember no one is perfect. Aim to get right 80% percent of the time and you’ll still turn out with the results you want — while at the same time setting a good example for your kids to follow.

Children’s Sport Singapore: Am I a Tiger Mom?

Children’s Sport Singapore: Am I a Tiger Mom?

There are some that wear the badge tiger mom proudly and others that shy away from it. One of those that protest the label is Judy Murray. Though often labeled a tiger mom by the media she maintains that, “Giving children the freedom to play many sports and have fun is the key to success.” Her youngest son, Andy Murray, is a three-time major champion, double Olympic medalist and former world No 1.

A tiger mom is as common a reference in Singapore as chicken rice and typically refers to an overly strict and demanding mother. A mother that pushes her child to excel academically or physically. It is a type of parenting method that can easily be likened to the Kiasu nature of the nation.

However, many parents fall closer in line with Judy Murray and believe that developing a well-rounded child is more important. And that by giving our children a chance to excel academically, socially and physically, we will give them the overall best advantages in life.

There certainly are pros and cons to each way of parenting. Have you decided which category you fall into? Ask yourself, do you take note of your child’s own interests? Do you follow the tiger mom code: “Get A’s in all subjects except for Drama and PE,” and “Learn how to play piano and one other type of instrument.” Or, do you believe that sports are just as important as maths? Extracurricular activities are no longer just something some kids do — they are something that all kids do and the degree to which parents allow their children to choose their own path will in large part allow them to grow into the adult they want to become.

If you think you might be a tiger mom, then you might take pause to consider that studies have shown that this perfectionist style of parenting can be detrimental to your child, leading to higher levels of depression and anxiety.

Happiness in childhood can take many forms and most of them are about honing their skills while enjoying themselves at the same time. That’s why we know the fun on the field that kids experience at Shaws Little League is invaluable and leads to well-rounded children that grow into well-rounded adults.

Kids sport Singapore: How to Build Your Children’s Confidence

Kids sport Singapore

After preparing your child for sport, how does Shaws Little League go about building your child’s confidence?

Firstly, confidence is knowing that you have the ability to achieve something. It is more than just telling yourself that you can do something.

When working with your children throughout all of our sports activities, our coaches work to help the children make progress regardless of their current ability.

How do our children’s sports coaches do this?

  • Setting manageable and achievable challenges for all children
  • Ensure that equipment is appropriately sized and conducive for skill development
  • Being accurate when throwing/kicking
  • Being encouraging, positive and forward thinking when communicating with your children
  • Focusing on your child’s effort and the “trying” as opposed to the outcome – the outcome is the responsibility of our coaches and not your child!

Each time we see improvements in your child, not only do they become more confident in their ability to play those particular sports, but they also show us that they have the ability to learn and improve.

When your child knows/shows us that they have the ability to learn and improve all the time – they have every right to be confident in whatever they choose to do! This confidence will serve them in all areas of life.

See you all soon at Shaws Little League for some fun!

Why Shaws Little League and Our Kids Love to Have Fun

Toddler Sport Singapore

Every child wants to have fun at their sport class. Fun takes many shapes and forms depending on the activity.

Children find fun in nearly anything – annoying their parents each morning when getting ready for school; playing with their food at meal times; ignoring their parents’ instructions; sitting and watching TV; playing with gadgets. They can find fun in the smallest pleasures, the littlest details.

At Shaws Little League, we believe that incorporating fun is the key to building a life-long love for sport and staying active — which will help our children enjoy life to its fullest by keeping their bodies and minds healthy and alert.

So how do we get the children to have fun at Shaws Little League?


Children develop better when they are physically doing things and involved in the play. We want each and every child to have lots of turns at hitting balls, running hard and always moving and staying active. When kids are happy they continue to play and enjoy it.


Once children are participating, we work on trying to help the children get better. However, we do it in a fun way. We focus on skill development with the help of good coaches that are going to make them better and, above all, remind them to not take it all too seriously.


Playing and working with other children, learning new skills, techniques and their understanding of sport. It’s not about becoming an expert, it’s about having the exposure and opportunity to new experiences.

Not Keeping Score

Children are more interested in the act of scoring a goal, hitting a home run, running and racing as opposed to looking at numbers. At Shaws, numbers don’t matter.


Praising children for trying and encouraging them to give 100%, even if it’s just a little improvement each time.


Communicating and working with children at their level. Giving good coaching, in a fun environment and a good competition, will keep kids in sport longer.


Always keep them thinking, make them curious and keep them on their toes. Challenge a child to think at their level, but not intimidate them. Learning to use their minds is part of the fun too.

Keeping It Real

Have a laugh, share a joke, and let the children know that it is ok to have the odd bad day. No one is perfect and no one is expected to be, mistakes are made, knees are skinned and that’s all part of the joy of childhood.

What Does Giving 100% Really Mean?

What Does Giving 100% Really Mean?

So often in sports we hear parents say, we just want our child to give 100% — but what does this mean, really? If a man with a shovel digs his hardest from sunup to sundown and his neighbor does the same with a tractor, which one is giving 100%? Giving 100% isn’t about just working hard, but working smart. Developing these skills at a young age doesn’t just help your child when they are young, but it teaches them how to deal with situations for the rest of their life. It teaches them to become part of their communities when they outgrow being part of their childhood teams.

What parent doesn’t want the best for their child? What we give our children today, will be our gift to them in the future.

Here are some of the top life skills that sports teach children:

Knowledge & Understanding

Confronting their coach or teammate about a problem that is impacting the team; standing up to a bullying teammate; understanding themselves and their beliefs – all of these are skills that children learn in sports today. They are also skills that extend well beyond the field. These skills are ones the that they learn today and will take with them into the future.


The desire to improve is one of the most positive traits of sports competition. When we grow up, we are constantly in a competitive environment, whether it be getting a promotion or finding your future husband/wife. The desire to work hard to achieve our goals as part of a team is a healthy competitive skill that our children will use for the rest of their lives.


The decision-making process we learn early in sports allows us to make better decisions as adults, ones that are more community oriented, instead of self-centered. This kind of decision-making helps our children become good citizens of the world. Encouraging them to develop their mental muscles and their own spirit will ultimately help them achieve their goals.

Desire to Improve

It is natural to want it before you have it, to not see the small increments of improvement that come through hard-work. Encouraging a child to be a tiny bit better than they were before slowly accumulates into a large improvement, teaching them that any challenge is within their reach in the long-term and with hard-work.

How to be Flexible

Team sports teach children how to be flexible. They must interpret information and when there is behavior they don’t like, the learn to say no. They learn to express their needs, feelings and ideas. They learn to be flexible, even when they disagree with someone – including how to express anger and ask for help when they need it, all the while in a safe and supportive team environment. No one breezes into a perfect life without effort and flexibility, despite how it might look to others.


Being part of a team teaches kids to be assertive. This confidence helps them to become aware that they are unique individuals with each of them their own special gifts. Learning good character and self-respect is the foundation of the self-confidence learned in team sports. Sports help our children learn to expect respect.

Communication Skills

In a team everyone has an opinion, but the process is democratic. Teammates don’t always agree, but they listen to each other. This teaches our children to speak up for themselves and find their voice for life.


Sports give our children the mentality to explore, to not be afraid of what lies around the next corner — to dream big and then dream bigger.

Enjoy the Whole Moment

Enjoying each carefree leap, jump and play is part of the sports experience. In all its glory and guts, skinned-knees, tears, elation and sweat, sports teach us to pay attention and enjoy the whole moment.

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