Parents, Teachers, Coaches – A Trap To Avoid

Parents, Teachers, Coaches – A Trap To Avoid

Too much success can be bad for children. Children needing success to be happy is not the best. Strange statements but think about them a little bit. A coach who measures success by the size of the trophy will not be happy with 2nd. When being 2nd could be the most the team could do at the moment. Unhappy coach with 2nd?

Does happiness and the feeling of success depend on placement, medals, trophies, comparisons? There is a place for competition and head to head comparisons of who is best but that shouldn’t determine our feeling of success and happiness the majority of the time.

We will have happier children if they are taught to move forward rather than always trying to stand on the highest block at the awards stand. If the goal for 20 divers is to be 1st, 19 will feel unsuccessful, defeated and unhappy. Losing the Super Bowl is being better than all of the other professional football teams except one. Failure? Unsuccessful? Unhappy? Get real.

If winning is always the goal, some children may not want to try because the odds are stacked against them. First is a byproduct of hard work, focus and improvement. Winning is secondary. Preparation, effort and the right set of goals will prepare our young people to want to try more. To want to challenge themselves.

Youth sports can’t be about 19 out of 20 children walking away feeling like a failure. Eventually, walking away with your head and shoulders sagging too often will move into “I don’t really want to try.” “Why bother.” “Why take a chance of making myself unhappy?” These kids are smart. They want to feel unhappy and feel unsuccessful?

We should strive for “tryers.” Everyone gets a trophy? 100% awards? Bribes to make them happy? We don’t think these children have brains? “A bad meet and they handed me a trophy? I am confused.” The emphasis on the trophy or the emphasis on moving forward, challenging yourself and improving. Our choice, as teachers, coaches and parents for our children. (Share if your friends might be interested.) Tom Burgdorf & Gymnet Sports on Facebook)

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