Playing sports for Mom and Dad’s generation was easy: go to town hall on sign-up night, pay a small fee to cover uniform costs, & play locally all summer long!
Such programs or leagues are hard to find these days.
Jack & his parents will have many questions come next season’s registration deadline: Do we pursue an “elite” travel team with huge time & financial commitments? Can we piecemeal a summer schedule of camps & clinics? Are the costs reasonable? Why are ‘tweener’ programs few & far between?
No. It isn’t easy anymore. Why? Because all youth sports communities are broken!
The question I’ve been trying to answer since becoming a trainer is, “How can I help fix our kids’ sports community?”
To answer the question, I examined my own experiences. As a youth athlete, I participated in local community leagues and “elite” travel teams. I made it through to competitive high school & college levels.
Competition has been devalued.
Why has this happened?
Young athletes are terrified to fail because they’re expected to be “elite.” When they’re not “elite,” rather than inspire them to persevere and become better, we award their existence, not their accomplishments. This segregates young athletes too early and is what makes sports unfair.
I keep air-quoting “elite” because elite, in youth sports, is fictional. Peyton Manning, Lebron James, Hope Solo, or one of my personal favorites, Marshawn Lynch, are elite players. Let’s face it: very few athletes make it to the elite level.
Method 360 Sports coaching is designed to solve the problems in youth sports. By teaching your kids how to comfortably fail, it can then happen naturally in front of their teams or peers or coaches.
I do not pat kids on the back & re-assure them everything they did was perfect. They have skills to develop. They have egos to drop. They have fundamentals to learn.
I do not award kids for making it through 30 minutes of repetitive principles. They have a long road ahead if they want to become elite.
I endorse rudimentary training: fundamentals are not easy to master & will challenge perseverance in a young athlete. They provide a foundation to maybe reach a true elite level.
So, what if your kid never reaches the elite level or doesn't care about being ‘elite’? Does your kid need to build confidence? Learn teamwork? Fail gracefully? Build resiliency? Have fun? These are life skills for success, not just elite sports skills.
Ultimately, if your kid isn’t having fun, it doesn’t matter what type of program you invest in for them because they won’t be around long enough to earn the participation award.
We have an amazing community at M360; do you think we can restore community to youth sports? I’m gonna try like hell to lead this small, local effort. But I need your kiddos to make it happen. I want to train your kids to feel like elite is possible, on and off the field.