It’s always the small things that my kids remember about why they loved playing a particular sport or on a particular team. I asked my middle daughter what made her sport teams’ experience fun, and she said it was being with friends. And cake. It really made her happy when birthdays were celebrated after practices or games (whatever was closest to the girl’s actual birthday), and the parent supplied cupcakes. It’s easy to lose sight that the reason why my child is doing this sport is that it’s fun and the minute it stops being fun, she will move on to something else.
Keeping It Fun
Coaches are the first line of defense to make sure the sport is fun for the players. We as coaches are driving some of the pressure in sport. Kids are feeling the pressure … to be number one, and to be compared through measurements and stats.
We have to make sure that our athletes aren’t feeling the pressure to be number one, to get that scholarship, to have an undefeated season. That’s just too much pressure.
There is too much statistical measurement in school. Everything is tested and graded. It’s a really bad feeling to feel the pressure of having to win all the time. Social media amplifies the pressure when outcomes to games become more public, or there’s more access to watch and judge the performance of a player online. In this age of testing, measurements and constant sharing, it’s easy to lose sight that … the number one reason why kids are playing this sport in the first place is that it is fun.
As a coach, it’s so important to diffuse some of the pressure in kids’ lives. They need to hear that we are here because the sport is fun.
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