Children become the messages they hear the most…As I listened to the message of the podcast it really made me think deeply about what athletes hear from parents, coaches, and teammates and the effect it has on them.
What are you, friends, family members, and coaches saying to your children during competition? Are they hearing a message of love for participation or are you communicating to them a message of win at all costs.
Two messages that should be discussed from the car ride, to the game, to post game must be the process of development and stating “I love you.”
The process of development put within terms of a child participant could be as simple as:
By playing in the game today, you continued to develop your skills to continue to improve. I am very proud of you for the hard work and effort you show each and every practice and game day.
This statement promotes the athlete having ownership of their developmental process and the parent giving that meaningful process to the child.
Stating I love you to your child before, during, and after game play (or all the time in reality) shows them that whatever they do on the field, you will always love them for who they are. Win, lose, or draw…that love is always being felt by the participant. The athlete knows you are in their corner during difficult times and when success happens.
Eliminating unhealthy messages will assist athletes in having more fun, enjoying participation, and taking greater ownership over their personal skill development. The type of ideas to steer clear from in youth sports would be:
- providing an increased focus on results.
- comparing abilities to other participants.
- not keeping youth sports in perspective of overall childhood development
What messages are you sending the teams you coach or the teams you watch?
Prioritizing your communication methods and being intentional about the message you want to get across to young athletes as a parent, coach, or fan will make 2019 and beyond more prosperous for all participants.
Empowering athletes, families, coaches, and organizations to create opportunities for lifetime success.
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