Teaching Skills in Youth Sports: Why it Matters More Than You Think (Parents)

If you look into the young lives of some great athletes you will see an extremely disciplined and strategic approach to achieving excellence that some call "champion-building."  This style leads to success in rare cases, but not on a regular basis.  In reality, these outliers have negatively affected the way we teach young people how to play the sports of their choosing (if they even get to truly choose at all).  This is definitely a "hands-on" style of sports parenting.  Another is to push sport participation and at the same time tell the young athlete (directly or indirectly) how great they are and reward them for winning at a young age.  Both can be detrimental, and I'll attempt to explain why. As a precursor, this post is mainly focused toward parents of young athletes.  There will be a post soon aimed at youth sport coaches and those roles can sometimes blend into each other, but this meant to generally influence the "big picture" of sport partici

An Introduction: How to become a Champion of the Process

When a kid grows up with heavy exposure to sport (like I did) they tend to develop an appreciation for competition and the things that come with it.  If approached in the correct way, adversity in the life of a young athlete can be turned into a valuable lesson that transcends the competitive setting.  The beauty of sport is that adversity and hardship come often and without warning, yet the consequences of taking risks are really quite minimal.  Sport influences a young individual to strive for something beyond their current capabilities, put themselves on an island of potential difficulties and attempt to not only survive the circumstances but thrive despite them.  Sport and performance psychology is about navigating those hard times and providing tools that, if used correctly, can help teams and individuals deal with adversity and reach beyond where their physical capabilities can take them. I started this journey some time ago with the knowledge that many athletes and former athlet