This post is based on an article from acclaimed psychologist Carl Pickhardt.
Did you know that less than 1% of youth players reach the professional ranks?
You probably did, so do coaches. We state the obvious when we say that to break into these ranks you need to be beyond exceptional. We know all of this and we are objective enough to know that the chances of this happening are very, very slim. Yet it seems at times that we are willing to sacrifice it all for 3 points on Saturday. No matter the damage. We should remember that youth sports are about developing better players and better people, and that winning is most frequently not a good parameter of good coaching.
Carl Pickhardt, a psychologist and author of 15 parenting books, says on his article ’18 Things to Raise a More Confident Child‘ that a kid who lacks confidence will be reluctant to try new or challenging things because they’re scared of failing or disappointing others. This can end up holding them back later in life and prevent them from having a successful career.
This article invites all readers to self-reflect on:
- How do you do at tip #1 “appreciate effort, no matter if they win or lose?” and tip #8 “never criticize their performance”?
- How can we still give honest, realistic feedback while still implementing these strategies?
- In tip #4, the author encourages us to allow kids to “act their age”, are we doing this or demanding that they be ‘more serious’ and ‘act like grown ups’?
- How might you implement Tip #9 “Treat mistakes as building blocks for learning” and tip #13 “praise them when they deal with adversity”?
Thank you Parents for taking the time to read and reflect over these questions. You’re doing it for your children.