While youngsters should focus on the game, they have parents shouting the sideline what their next move should be. Instead of enjoying team sports they faced with the decision to ignore the parent or the couch, the one leads to the possibility of losing a place in the team, the other a telling off all the way home.
Is really any wonder kids play tentatively, are confused, or even too afraid to make mistakes, or battle to learn anything? Most of all are parents the reason they stop enjoying the fun and excitement of sports? Understandably we love our children, we want them to do well in everything they do as well as enjoying victory and be successful. But its sometimes this race to nowhere, this pushing in youth sports, our actions, our words that are not helpful, even when its parents’ best intentions, their words hurt more than it motivates, and sports become an even of disappointment and not enjoyment.
Is it a wonder that once adults removed the enjoyment, that so many kids quit sports? The three key components of sports are enjoyment, long-term participation and achievement. Adults for some reason more believe that sports can be either fun or competitive, but not a mix of both and in this, they simply could not be more wrong. It happens due to the fact that people don’t understand the happiness of pursuing your passion and potential.
Sports is always about striving to improve, it is about doing what you love most and most of all pleasure is short lived and not the same as enjoyment. It’s the same with running a marathon, the distance is not pleasurable, yet completing it brings a feeling of achievement and great joy. The Golden State Warriors of 2016 is known as one of the greatest basketball teams of all times, one of their four core values is joy. Once coaches and parents start pouching too much, youngsters question the sports experience and once it feels like the positives are outweighed by the negatives they quit.
Basically, there are six different way in which adults manage to take enjoyment out of sports:
1. Side-line coaching by parents
2. Yelling out instructions to a player trying to make decisions under pressure
3. Parents shouting from side-line disrespect the officials, while children are thought to respect authority figures
4. Coaches being questioned by parents in their decisions regarding tactics and player positions
5. Sports are team events, your teammates your friends and parents commenting on their play is uncomfortable
6. For most youngsters, the least memorable moment is the ride home made into a teachable moment by parents
The fix to all this, ask children what they want, allow them to take ownership of their sporting experience and then respect their decision and that of the coaches. Pretty soon the team will consist of fearless, motivated, hardworking athletes who enjoy sports the way it’s meant to be.