This is a great article. One of the best I have read when it comes to using common sense when talking about kids and sports. Because nowadays kids and sports isn’t really about those two things. It’s about the parents getting involved and we all knows it looks bad from that vantage point.
This article points out 5 Ways to Keep Youth Sports Fun and I found it refreshing, as well as, enlightening to read what Declan Connolly had to say.
Point One – Let the kids keep score and teach the coaches how to build fundamentals with a focus on skill development.
- Brilliant. I for one am not against good old fashion competition. As long as the rules are clear and it’s a level playing field, I say – go for it. Connolly informs parents that kids will indeed keep score and that’s okay. As long as the adults are focusing on the bigger picture, everything will balance out in the end.
Point Two – Keep “Play” Front and Center.
Amen to that. My battle cry to parents who INSIST that their 7 year old shows real talent for pitching, blocking, jumping, throwing, back flips, etc. is this – the odds that your child will still be interested in this sport in 5 years in less than 20%. Let them enjoy the experience and be ready to purchase all new equipment for the next sport they find interesting. This article drives home the point using stats that will have every parent rethinking their position on pushing kids to compete before they are ready.
Point Three – Don’t Review Your Kids Performance On The Ride Home.
Nothing much to add to this except – PUT THE DAMN DUCT TAPE IN YOUR GLOVE COMPARTMENT BOX AND SHOW YOUR KIDS WHERE YOU KEEP IT.
Point Four – Encourage Variety.
- Like life, this is another example of introducing balance into a child’s world. A thoughtful parent who is raising a “whole” child will understand the power of this idea. A narrow field of vision, whether it’s sports, academics, social or financial, limits our child’s ability to develop “mental muscle”. My motto – once they get good at something, change it up so that dealing with frustration and disappointment is as easy as changing from soccer to track shoes.
Point Five – Resist the Temptation to Coach Your Kid.
How about you coach yourself or coach your friends. Try talking to yourself in the mirror and tell me how much YOU like being coached by you. More than one parent told me that this technique put a quick stop to their “good intentions” and “years of experience” that prompted them to coach the kids.
Bottom line – like everything else having to do with kids, sports is just another opportunity to turn over the reins to them, learn to listen instead of talk, follow their lead which builds confidence and stay flexible which will keep you young and supple for years to come.