Published On: Fri, Apr 27th, 2018

How to Make Child Better Athlete

Ah, the sounds of summer: The crack of the bat, the swish and skid of a slide into home plate, the ensuing roar of the crowd and – all too often – the angry shouts, even physical blows of an enraged parent. It’s a disturbing scene. And it’s happening at an alarming rate.

How to Make Child Better Athlete

“We’re seeing a crisis in youth sports,” said Dr. Tom Hansen, sports psychologist and founder and CEO of Heads-Up Performance Inc. “It’s a professionalization of youth sports where the winning model, the adult model, is gradually working down to lower and lower age groups.”

The result is a cutthroat, competitive scenario that has all but replaced the youth sports scene of yesterday, where the focus was on kids having fun, learning good sportsmanship and developing positive traits such as self esteem, teamwork and healthy lifestyles. Typically, one of two things happen – either the young athlete becomes increasingly aggressive, or he gives up. Many experts place the blame squarely on Mom, Dad and, sometimes, the coach.

“It’s disturbing,” retired NBA coach Phil Jackson says in a public service announcement produced by the Positive Coaching Alliance, a division of Stanford University’s Department of Athletics. “Sideline confrontations, coaches losing their cool. What are we teaching our children about the game and more importantly about life?”

What overzealous parents and coaches are teaching kids, say Hansen and other sports psychology experts nationwide, is a win-at-all-costs approach to sports of all kinds, from football to table tennis. Experts point to a high-pressure atmosphere created by well-meaning parents who cross the line from constructive criticism to downright bullying.

About the Author

- Paul Linus is an eminent online journalist who has been writing news, features and editorials on different websites from across the world for about a decade.

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