My post this week comes from our Soccer Conditioning Expert Scott Moody at SoccerFIT Academy. I thought you would find it interesting because it includes a survey that could gather some very useful information for coaches and parents alike. I will share the results in a future blog post.
We are always looking for ways to make a positive impact on our players at the SoccerFIT Academy. I have to change my coaching style about a dozen times a day as I jump from coaching kids of different ages, sports and genders, who all seem to have different motivational triggers. I have to do this so that I can better connect with, motivate and inspire of each athlete that walks through the door. Changing from strict, to joking and from loud to soft, and sometimes I even catch myself changing mid-sentence to give praise, but then quickly bring that kid back to earth, so that they realize there is still much they need to work on.
It always amazes me how fragile some of our younger players seem to be. I have seen kids breakdown and cry in sessions where I am doing my best to build up their self-esteem. But no matter how much I praise some players, it just doesn’t seem to sink in. They seem to have have the impression that they are not living up to someones expectations (parent, coach, teammate?). I know I write posts like “Losing the Will to Win” and “You will never be good enough..” and I stand by that approach with some of our kids, but what do you do about the ones that already feel that they are “not good enough” and seem to have already “lost the will to win?”
This got me thinking… Maybe it’s not what we as parents and coaches mean when we talk to our kids/players… but it’s what the kids hear that is causing the disconnect. Maybe we think we are being supportive, but we are actually setting the standard so high, that the child feels they can never live up to our expectation.
So what’s the answer? Honestly, I have no idea… But I had a phone conversation with a good friend of mine who is leading the charge to find out. The following link to the AthleteFit survey is from Jeremy Boone, owner of Athlete By Design in Charlotte, NC. Jeremy is the author of the newly released book ‘Parent Your Best- Be the reason your child succeeds in sport.’ The purpose of this survey will help us to better understand how your child experiences you when it comes to them being an athlete and playing their sport. This is an anonymous survey and therefore no single family or individual will be recognized. Instead, this information helps us to better identify our cultural patterns in our effort to helping young athletes realize their potential.
Jeremy has agreed to share the results of the survey with us, so that we might finally get some answers as to what to say (and how to say it) to our child before their game, in the car ride home, at the dinner table and before bed. I will put his comments up in future blog posts to try and shed some light on this subject. As the father of four young girls I can’t tell you how excited I am to get some insight on this topic. Please help us to start breaking down the communication barrier, and start learning more about what we can do to make a positive impact on the lives of those we care about.
For more information about Jeremy or the Parent Your Best program visit www.parentyourbest.com