I fear there is a dangerous trend in teaching and raising kids in the most recent generations and it shows up in sports participation.
Far too often, parents go overboard with advocating for their kid for playing time and also shielding them from difficulty. This is short-sighted as we all know that kids grow up to be adults and when that happens, the original shielders are not around to protect them and the consequences are worse.
A tremendous benefit from playing youth sports is that the kids get to learn life skills such as determination and resilience in a time and environment where their adversities and difficulties are relatively benign AND they have the support to get through them.
Yes, you can learn life skills from others’ teachings and experience but the most powerful way, by far, to integrate grit and determination into a young person is through their own setbacks.
Give kids the gift of experiencing and figuring out things on their own while being there for support when they come to you for help. It’s perfectly fine to ASK a kid if they need help or support if you sense he/she might need it. But, if they decline the help, allow them to move through the problem on their own.
That’s how they build confidence and heart from playing youth sports.
Have your kid watch this video with you and start a discussion.
Let’s do this,
You see most kids never learn the stuff, I‘m going to teach you. Learning how to be mentally tough whenever you want is going to give you a huge advantage in competition especially under pressure and when it really counts.
You want that?
So how do you become mentally tough? I hate to tell you this, but it really comes from this:
Repeated exposure to difficulty and coming back stronger. Putting yourself in tough situations like losing the big game, choking when your teammates are counting on you and then recovering.
I know it’s not fun to go through that but when you are mentally strong, you can handle it very easily and get right back on track to your success. This builds your confidence too and that also makes you play better and feel better about yourself. All good stuff, right?
Becoming mentally tough is just like in weight training, you tear down your muscles, and then
they recover and come back even stronger!