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Fun & Skill Development v. Winning

Perspective in Youth Sports Today

As a teacher, former coach and elite level collegiate athlete (and father of two Division I scholarship athletes), I have been genuinely saddened by the loss of perspective in sports, especially youth sports, and the lack of understanding about how athletic success is achieved. What our young sports enthusiasts should be learning by going through this process and what they are learning are two different things.

Equal Playing Time: Should It Be the Rule, Not the Exception?

Giving the "best" players more playing time than the so-called "weaker" players may help a team win more games, but at what cost? Some boys never miss practice, yet only played the minimum. Others hardly ever, or never, come to practice, yet are "rewarded" for their lack of commitment with extra playing time because the coach wants to win. I believe that an equal playing or significant playing time should be the rule rather than the exception, at least up until high school varsity or until players are playing at the highest levels of their sport.

Winning and Losing in Sports: Ten Tips for Parents

No matter how talented your child may be, there are going to days when he doesn't play his best, or when, despite his best effort, his team loses. How you manage both the ups, and the inevitable downs, will play a large role in whether your child has a successful youth sports experience.

Love of Sports Key To Your Child's Athletic Success

No adult involved in American youth soccer scene deliberately sets out to destroy the love of the game for the players. Rather, they often get caught up in the anxiety of the moment and do not have the skills to handle the pressure and consequently act out or speak inappropriately. When referees, coaches and players are able to stay in the zone of optimal performance, then the atmosphere provides for a high level of enjoyable soccer. The love of the game is strengthened.

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