For many parents, witnessing their child compete in sports, winning medals, and bringing them home is a lifetime dream.
Every Friday, you go around to cheer the teams. The youngsters enjoy playing, and you can’t help but think about their long-term excellence and scholarships as you see them play.
Take a deep breath and relax.
Your kids aren’t “elite” young athletes, whether they’re on travel teams or not. Awards or no awards.
In his book ‘Working with parents in Sports’, Gordon MacLelland remarked how there are no elite ten-year-old backstroke swimmers.
There are no outstanding soccer players at the age of 11. There are no pro tennis players at the age of nine. Although your seven-year-old child can swing a golf club, she is hardly an elite young athlete.
They’re kids. That’s all there is to it – kids.
I’m sorry to burst your bubble. It’s fantastic if your youngster gets a bit better at their chosen sport. However, it is more probable that those children who have been pressured and marketed at an early age will not participate in sports until they are in their mid-twenties. It’s been verified.
This isn’t limited to high-performance young athletes, according to RTE.ie.
Who is to be blamed for children’s early retirement from sports? Adults in a nutshell.
MacLelland considers the following pointers very seriously:
– Coaches are at fault because they prioritized achievement over smiles and perfection above fun… It’s difficult to accuse coaches since they’re simply executing what they’ve been told for the previous 30 years. Sports coaching programs have primarily concentrated on sports science (training) and exercise design, as well as skill practices. We didn’t educate them that engaging with players and assisting them in being the best they can be is the REAL key to coaching excellence. To put it another way, we never taught coaches how to coach.
-Parents must own some of the burdens since the elite youth sports salesmen target them, not the players. Despite common reason and logic, too many parents feel it’s only a tiny step from scoring a goal for an under 5 soccer team to competing for Real Madrid. As a consequence, parents will do everything possible to enroll their kids in “junior academy” classes and specialized high-level coaching programs. You must love your children. Allow them to develop a passion for their sport. That’s all there is to it.
– Some of the blame for the growth of youth elite sports clubs and institutions must be borne by schools. Secondary schools are more and more developing some sort of sports academies as a promotional tool to lure more parents to the school.
The following are the solutions available from MacLelland.
– Make a terminological change. Never use the phrases ‘elite,’ ‘high performance,’ or ‘junior,’ in the same line.’ Quit thinking about junior players who are at the top of their game.
– Alter your marketing strategy. Stop attempting to convince parents and young athletes that you have the key to victory and that all they need to become an athletic model is in a vial, jar, or pricey equipment.
– Focus on developing sporting experiences that give the ambiance and opportunity for people to form a relationship with sports. The one thing that all talented and successful athletes – and all great performers, for that matter – have in common is that they genuinely enjoy what they do, therefore they do it.
-Keep repeating the above until you embrace it. There are no elite young athletes, and there will never be any elite young athletes.