Welcome to 2018! It has been awhile since we have written a new blog post, but one of my New Year’s Resolutions is to interact more online through social media and this blog with our community. Like many people, I struggle with New Year’s Resolutions. More often than not, I’m am plagued with good intentions and poor execution and my resolutions are usually forgotten within a month or two. This year is different though. My wife and I have come up with resolutions pertaining to financial, personal, family, professional, and health goals and we have put them on the fridge to be reminded of them every day. This has created a sense of accountability for us and additionally, we came up with daily, weekly, and monthly milestones to aid our success. After all, a goal without a plan is really just a wish.
When I was younger, I loved the New Year because it gave me an opportunity to single out an element of my game and work on it throughout the year. When I was ten, I remember making the resolution to be able to shoot a 3-pointer effortlessly. At that time, it was much more of a heave with very limited accuracy. My parents supported me in this goal and did everything in their power to help me achieve it, but little did they know, the goal was impossible. I was a very short and scrawny ten year old and physically was incapable of maintaining proper shooting form 20 feet from the rim. Looking back, I wish I had made the goal to perfect my shooting form from 10 feet and in. This would have allowed me to develop much faster as a player because at that age, that was all my body was capable of doing. It wasn’t until my sophomore year of high school when I was able to shoot a 3-pointer without compromising my form.
In my years working with young athletes, I have seen coaches prioritize wins over development and safety. I have seen coaches tell 9 year olds they need to be able to shoot a 3-pointer at a higher percentage if they want to play or throw a curve ball consistently. Our job with youth sports is not to win games, it is to develop athletes mentally and physically and prepare them for playing at higher levels and being successful in life after sports while making it FUN! That is the reason we play, right?
If your son or daughter made a resolution to improve something in their game, make sure it is physically attainable and reasonable. Will it stunt their overall development or will it be a steeping stone in which they can build off of? Also, how can we support them, hold them accountable, but maintain a positive environment? That is our goal as parents and youth coaches.
At Next Level, we use safe, encouraging, and efficient coaching techniques designed to create a positive and supportive environment for all campers regardless of skill level. Registration for 2018 is open and we have already have campers signing up. Reserve your sport today!