Young Athletes Need Support
By Dave Gleason
The last month and a half I have been making more of a concerted effort to attend as many events that our AR Champions are involved in as possible. This includes sporting events, plays and concerts. I have quickly come to the realization that within reason – I need to do much more of this.
Quite simply the look on my young athletes faces when they see me, and the gracious comments from their parents, extolling how very excited their son or daughter is.
The games, activities, sets, reps and external loads we choose for our young athletes have obvious importance. Without our world-class long-term programming we do not distinguish ourselves from any other organization that serves young athletes.
The truth is that our program templates and endless list of exercises to plug in to those templates have little value if the overall experience we provide our athletes is not superior.
Keep in mind that beyond their athletic development, your young champions are developing from several different standpoints.
Bio-Socially – How they are responding to biological changes in their bodies including kinesthetic awareness and how they compare themselves to other children’s bodies.
Psycho-Socially – How their young minds are socially adjusting to learning new social skills, sportsmanship, fairness and the concept of efficacy (“what I can do”).
Cognitively – How and what their brains are storing information from new experiences.
All of these are factors that can break down and destroy confidence.
That said, the connections we make with our young athletes and their parents are the most important aspects of our business.
Coaching and mentoring young children comes at a cost. That cost is the value they place on you in their young lives. They look up to you, they admire you… they want your acceptance and praise. You become a very important part of their young lives.
Celebrating your young athletes outside of your facility is as easy as attending a tournament, a concert, an award ceremony, and even a personal event that you’ve been invited to such as a birthday party. Your attendance at these events will add to the culture of your AR, the strength of your AR family and the long-term health of your AR business.
The ramifications of your ability to network while being introduced to other parents and young athletes by your AR champion’s parents cannot be over stated. The levity of making your young champion feel special because you took the time to watch them perform is epic. The appreciation your AR parents display is a direct result of their realization that you care about their child(ren).
The opportunity to make your AR champions feel special will always begin within your program. Reaching outside that from time to time is a win – win for everyone!
Keep changing lives!