Another article that gives specific examples of why specializing in one sport can have major health risks. I believe that athletes until the age of 16 or 17 should be playing more than one sport and having a “down” period to each year. What is a down period? It is at least a month or two where the athlete does not play a sport or train. This allows the muscles to heal and relax, as well as mental break for the athlete. Everyone thinks in this day and age that if you stop playing, or training, that you are falling behind the athlete that goes all year round. I believe this is just a myth. Talent is talent, and college recruiters will find it no matter whether you play twelve months a year or nine. Make sure to give your body and mind time to rest and relax during a calendar year and I promise you will still achieve your athletic goals.
Good article for parents about how to choose the right youth league for your son or daughter. It gives you a few questions to ask yourself before your child up.
A great interview with Ray Lokar, a long time coach and administrator who also is a lead trainer for Positive Coaching Alliance. He discusses many topics that face youth athletes and their parents in this day and age. It is one you should read.
This was a quote I came across yesterday, and I could not agree more with the message. Young athletes all the way to pro athletes need to follow this quote. I am a believer in you play the game, match, contest until the end as hard as you can, no matter what the score might be. Losing, and how you handle losing, can be a great character builder. It shows a great deal of the make up of an athlete in how they play when things are not going the way they had planned. Do they continue to play hard, and be a good teammate, or does the player give up on the game and just decide to not play hard? This is a very tough concept to teach youth athletes, not to give up on a game just because the score seems out of reach. They have a harder time realizing that a game is never over until its over. Young players also have a tendency to become demoralized if the other team appears to be much better. It takes a special coach to get them to understand that they need to not be upset about the score, but continue to work hard and get better as the game goes along. High school athletes have an easier time with this idea, but from time to time, they can lose focus and quit if they are losing by a large margin.
It also can be a great teaching moment for a coach. How does a coach build his/her team up during a game or contest of this nature? Do they continue to coach, or do they give up themselves? A coach needs to lead by example. They need to coach all the way through the game no matter what the score is or how their team is playing. A great coach will find the positives in a game of this nature, and find a way to get their players to see the improvement they made, especially at the youth level.
It is a great quote that all athletes and coaches should understand!!
This is another example of how youth coaches forget that they are roles models for young men and women they coach. I can not comprehend what was going through this coaches mind when he decided to trip an eleven year old boy after a hockey game. What example does this set for his team, and god forbid if his own son was on his team? It tells me that some of these coaches, and certainly not the majority, are in it for the wrong reasons. It also puts a black eye on those youth coaches that set a great example, and are role models for the young children that are playing the sport. I believe that this coach should never be able to coach youth sports again if possible. We will see what comes of the charges, but good for those parents in seeking justice for their sons.
Something to think about. I have seen this at the high school level with certain parents, so I assume they didn’t just start when their son or daughter hit ninth grade.