Why shouldn’t we compare kids in sports
Written on April 12, 2022 at 9:20 am, Eric Kressi
One of the trends I see in the youth sports scene is that the youngest children are compared to their peers. This is a problem for parents who are concerned about the participation of sports monetization programs, coaches responsible for skill identification / development and their children are lagging behind.
I stand a bit differently to talk about this because I was involved in the development of 12 year olds who have finally become professional athletes. And, more importantly, I am the parent of three daughters. The older two, Lydia and Addison, are 7-year-old twins.
The most important lesson you learn as a twin parent is that people will always think it’s ridiculous to say “dual problem” even though it’s incredibly hackneyed. Once you get over it, though, Lesson # 2 is more effective: You should never try to compare your twins to each other.
This was evident even when they were in the womb. When we went to the ultrasound, Lydia was in the front and center; We joked that he pressed his face to the glass. Meanwhile, it will always take a bunch of technicians and a bunch of time to find Addison, who is always “hiding”. On an ultrasound, we could only see under his feet.
When they were born, a brunette with olive skin (Lydia looks like her mother) and a strawberry blonde with a light complexion (Addison waiting for a sunburn, like a father).
Lydia came out screaming and ready to take the world. Addison struggled a bit and needed four days in NICU with oxygen and a feeding tube. Lydia was a timid child and always wanted her mother, and Addison was extremely humble and was usually found in her father’s arms while her mother was holding her sister.
At 18 months, they flip-flop. Lydia became a follower of the rules, and Addison began to give us attitudes. Lydia ate almost everything we put in front of her, yet Addison’s taste buds refused to acknowledge the existence of everything except about five meals.
Lydia walked five months before Addison (who was a little taller / heavier). Addison swam faster than Lydia. Lydia swings the bat with her right hand, and Addison swings her left arm. While Lydia was reading the chapter book, Addison was still working on the word vision. Addison, on the other hand, was richer in mathematics than his sister.
Lydia fast; Addison is even more powerful. Lydia listens attentively and quickly embraces more “training intensive” sports such as tennis, softball and gymnastics. Addison, on the other hand, is a space cadet on the field in a softball game; He is kicking the grass and watching the field next to him. On the contrary, he is in his element with creative ventures like music, art and dance.
I develop athletes to make a living, and I can tell you without hesitation that I have zero idea what games my kids will enjoy next week, let alone a few years from now. Our twins have spent 99% of their lives together since conception and are now completely different, and we have seen their unexpected recurrence to reach this point.
We do not predict athletic success. We don’t even predict that kids will enjoy the sport well. You’d be surprised how many professional athletes weren’t child prodigy or even standout high school athletes. Let’s face it – adolescence makes many coaches look smarter than they are!
In other words, the only thing we can control is to enrich their experience in these sports as they participate – and comparisons don’t do that. What works?
First, appreciate the effort put into the results. Delegates – and the fun that comes with working with colleagues – are important. I can’t tell you a single score from one of my minor league games, but I can write a book about a ** hole coach who took matters very seriously. In hindsight, he didn’t really know much about baseball.
Second, celebrate innovation. It excites children, and participating in a variety of sports at an early age provides a rich proprioceptive environment that builds an invaluable athletic foundation on which specific skills can be built later. This wide-ranging athletic foundation includes the variability of the plane of motion, the speed of movement, and the forces involved. Collectively, these exposures teach athletes to distribute pressure across multiple joints and to avoid the injury of overuse in certain sections.
Third, randomized learning exceeds long-term blockchain in acquiring skills. Mix with different drills and fluctuate their order and duration, then integrate them into fun competitions.
Acknowledge the importance of fourth, in-season and off-season periods. These fluctuations in the seasons help to keep kids from getting bored of certain sports, but also provide the benefits of exciting graduation exposure. A 10-year-old throwing a baseball is a terrifying idea beyond 12 months; Some soccer and hoops games are a great way to stay active while developing in different ways.
Fifth, as soon as a child is mature enough for this, add them to a basic strength training program. This will have a “trickle-down” effect on various athletic qualities while reducing their risk of injury. Again, it has to be fun, just like everything else!
In short, don’t compare kids; Instead, appreciate that they are all unique and develop at different rates and in different ways. Youth sports are about developing a passion for sports, enjoying the feelings of the community and building a positive lifelong relationship with exercise.
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