Parents & Athletes – Youth Sports In Perspective

Hitting a ball or doing a leap is that important? Catching a football or “stunting” is that important? Can we take the activity of youth sports and make them more important than they really are? Kids crying because they let a ball go through their legs or they took a step on a landing?

Youth sports are important because of the process not the outcome. Sure we all want the kids to have a few moments on the top of an awards stand but they gain, they learn more, from the process. The setting of a plan, believing in the preparation and then trying. An 8.5 on a dive is more important than the 4 weeks of practice leading up to the meet? Yes, the end performance is part of the process but the end performance doesn’t define all of the good that was accomplished in the preparation.

Our kids need to hear more and more about the importance of preparation rather than focusing on competition and the rewards. The emphasis on the competition and the rewards could be more important to the adults in the lives of a 7 year old athlete than to the athlete. Aren’t effort and improvement more important than a $2.00 medal? Can’t we make more children happy if we talk about effort and improvement because they can all control that?

The fun of playing sports can be spoiled by adults adding stress, pressure and silly goals of winning, winning, winning.

How much ego does a 7 year old athlete have? Where do they learn that winning is more fun than participating? Can a 7 year old prepare, compete, place 32nd and still have fun? Can they learn from that? Do all of the real important life lessons that shape a child come from winning?

Reasonable expectations and a proper perspective of youth sports can help create a wonderful “laboratory of learning and improving” on the fields, in the gyms and in the water for these kids.

Youth sports should enhance the life of a child rather than “be” her life. Youth sports should enhance the life of the parent of a child rather than “be” the life of a mom or dad. Tom Burgdorf on Facebook

Back to main list