Parents and coaches are bringing too much adult intensity to youth sport.
We have a hard time separating what we see on TV or in the stadiums and the games we watch on a weekend when our kids are playing. We lose sight of the fact that professional athletes have experienced years of training, have adult-like brain functions, and were once kids themselves struggling with the same issues as our young ones.
It takes time, and lots of failure before anyone can step into any arena with honed skills, mental fortitude, and physical stamina to perform at the highest level. Yet, we adults watching our kids are expecting that level of performance.
Our unmet expectations of being entertained as if we were watching professionals, the child’s inexperience, and our financial investment are killing many of our kids’ ability to enjoy sport the way they should.
The cure for this situation is quite simple.
Here is your opportunity to be very honest about why you have your child in sport.
Let us start by examining our expectations.
Why do we want our kids to play sport? Is to have them play on the National team one day (does your child know that?), do they want that themselves? Is because of the love of the sport and the lessons that can come from being involved, do your actions reflect that desire?
Does your wish to have your child play sport match with your son or daughter? You might want to consider asking them why they want to play, you can then figure out how your child will you to support them in their growth.
Take a moment to reflect on why you have your child playing sport. Get a notepad and pen and write that desire or intention.
Now ask yourself – how would someone with the intention you wrote behave when driving to the game with their kid, watching their child play, or driving home after a match do or say?
Here is the model for your future behavior.
Good luck, and I hope your child can develop into a great human being. The world needs more of them!