The Season Has Started: Trust the Process
Players, coaches, parents! The season is here, and it is going to be a long one! This is a friendly reminder to enjoy the journey of the day-to-day activities of what makes sports so great for children and teenagers. The primary purpose of youth sports is development: Athletic, Mental, Emotional, and Social. Remember, development is a process. Development takes time. Development takes effort. Development takes patience.
Early in the season, players and teams will start to feel signs of success and, likely, failure. Both are good. Knowing that the season is in its infancy, success is not final, and failure is not fatal. Development occurs through growth, and growth comes from experience. Experiences shape our lives and teach us about the changing situations and realities we are in. Success teaches us that we can accomplish goals, and that the previous efforts that were put in were worth it. Failure teaches us that there is room for improvement. Coming up short, losing a game, not quite accomplishing a goal, even that it hurts, teaches us that we are not quite to where we need to be yet, and that more effort is needed; more learning is needed.
The season will have ups and downs, success and failure, wins and losses, goals and saves, triumphs and mistakes. Players, coaches, and parents enjoy the journey of the ups and downs. Be happy for success and continue to want to strive for more. Use failure as a motivator to get better and work towards accomplishing that elusive goal. Both instances teach us how to handle new situations, and therefore help us grow, and that is when the greatest development occurs.
Advice for Players, Coaches, and Parents
Players: Ask your coaches for advice. They are a resource to get better. Ask questions use the answers to improve your efforts and your play. Stay engaged and motivated. The only two things you can control is your actions/effort and attitude! Work Hard and stay positive. You can only improve as a player if you truly want to get better! Have fun and enjoy playing. Respect the game and it will treat you well!
Coaches: Continue to get better! Players and parents are putting trust in you for development. Look up drills, watch videos, talk to other coaches. Learn! Share ideas and opinions. Not everything will stick with you, but something may help throughout the season. There is no shame in asking for help and learning “best” practices. The coach with the best drills at their death does not win! Share and get better!
Parents: Be supportive! Support your child, their coaches, and their teammates. It is a team sport. Development occurs when everyone improves. Development is not always simple, be patient. If your child has questions, be there to help find the answers. Encourage your child to speak to the coach (this is a great life skill). Lastly, enjoy watching them play! Children grow up quick and those moments do not last forever.
Good luck and enjoy the season!