All parents want their children to have a positive experience in youth sports. Some of us even envision our children growing up and becoming very successful in their sports endeavors. It has become a very tricky balance of finding the right path to this kind of success.
With so many children quitting sports for various reasons, it’s critical that we parents examine just what works and what doesn’t work as we enter into this world of competitiveness.
Having become an advocate for children in sports, I am experienced in the success stories as well as the many pitfalls that families face. Our youth recreational programs provide a very important service to our communities, and this is typically the first step in our child’s athletic development. It can be a very complicated dynamic because all of us are entering into a new phase where we want to see our children grow in skill and confidence.
Many recreational programs are very large in numbers, making the overall management of the
organization challenging. Children easily get lost in the system. We almost always rely upon parent coaches (usually untrained), and too often there is a race to competitiveness. These two variables alone can cause many problems when it comes to development. Often, the biggest, strongest, fastest kids tend to shine, and the emphasis on results (winning) is exaggerated. Creating an environment where everyone is having fun and learning skills have fallen by the wayside.
I contend that if you want to create successful athletes, you must first allow them to have fun and to experience success in terms of their skill development. This will keep them coming back with enthusiasm and excitement. If children can continue to participate on their terms, that being….having fun and feeling like they are learning skills, then we have a chance of attaining the secret ingredient to success; passion.
At Locker Soccer, we have mastered this approach, and we are very excited to be initiating a recreational offering through Concord Township that will address the shortcomings of many of our larger programs, with the goal of keeping more children in sports.
The Concord Township Recreational Soccer program is our inaugural effort at working with children and introducing competitive soccer at a pace that is aligned with the development stages of child development.
When: This league will begin in spring 2018.