Junior sports and athletes is a facinating area. This Friday I will be speaking at a conference looking at long terma athletic development and preventing athlete dropout. A couple of things come to mind for us as coaches. Firstly value
Do you value the successful athlete more than others. with juniors it is important to look at the big picture as success now doesnt mean success in the future in fact statistics show you probably have a greater chance in latter life being successful if you are not a champion junior. Value the ones with potential but more importantly value everyone you work with and keep to the philosophy that you can work to maximise everyones potential.
Do you coach or just run drills. This is an area Vern Gambetta speaks about often and it is one I also am strong about. I see alot of drills going on but very little coaching. If you dont know how to coach what you are doing find out or be mentored by someone that does.
Do you promise what you cant deliver. Parents all think their kid is the best and will be the future of sport in their chosen activity. Keep it real and focussed on the journey rather than the outcome. Think about the big picture and other things that are going on in the kids life we want well rounded children not children that are swimming 15 hours/week at 10.
There are many more issues to ponder but there is no doubt youth sport needs to be kept in perspective