Archive for “Opening Ceremonies” Tag

Olympic Lessons For Young Athletes

 

Olympic Lessons

 

Olympic lessons for young athletes

 

By Wil Fleming

 

Well it should go without saying, as a former athlete in an Olympic sport, there is no greater time than the Olympics. So many sports put on display, so many great athletes, and so many years of hard work finally shown on the world stage, means that there isn’t a better sporting event on the planet.

 

As a coach it is important to relay the messages of the Olympics to the athletes we work with on a daily basis.

 

1) Hope
The opening ceremony demonstrated this to its full effect. For those who missed the opening ceremonies, typically the host country will choose a famous former Olympian to be the final torch bearer as they light the cauldron that burns throughout the Olympics. Rather than choosing a great athlete from the country’s past, Great Britain decided to have the Olympic flame lit by seven athletes of the country’s future.

 

This gesture demonstrated hope, one of the greatest things that we can instill in our young athletes. While there are 10,000 athletes participating in the games, not every athlete we work with is destined for that glory, or a college scholarship, but we can instill the hope in each one of them that they can be the best athlete that they can be.

 

Each day we should aspire to inspire our young athletes. Find out what their REAL goals are, not just the typical. Several months ago I found out that one of my athletes didn’t want a college scholarship, all he wanted to do was score a touchdown for his high school football team. Considering he was playing guard for his team, this was not likely to happen. After consulting with him on his diet (losing 30 lbs and improving his 40 yd time), and even talking to his football coach, he is now a tight end and he is closer to realizing his REAL dream.

 

2) Skill
There are 28 sports in the Olympics and countless events that divide each of these sports. There will be plenty of jokes made about the merits of badminton and other sports and their inclusion in the Olympic games, but a true coach will seek out the skills necessary to compete at a high level in those sports and learn from these lessons.

 

Look at the hand-eye coordination of a table tennis player. Look at the lateral movement of the badminton player, think about the cardiovascular endurance of a shooting athlete trying to fire a shot between heart beats. Appreciation of these skills can help lead you to being a better coach, and thinking of new ways to help your athletes improve.

 

3) Defeat
A big part of reality is that of the 10,000 athletes that go to the Olympic games to compete, not many of them will come home with a medal. A majority of the athletes at the Olympic games will end their Olympic career in a defeat. Does that mean that they are a failure? No, not at all but it does mean that dealing with failure or defeat is part of choosing to be an athlete.

 

Learning to take defeat, or setbacks in training, is part of being an athletes. Young athletes who learn this lesson can benefit greatly by embracing that each defeat means another opportunity to get better.

 

So this week as you watch the Olympic games, think about the opportunities that we as coaches can embrace as some of these Olympic lessons can help our athletes get better in the process.

 

 

Young Athletes And The Olympic Games Lie

How Young Athletes Are Portrayed In The Olympics

I’m actually a big fan of the Olympic Games.

 

My favorite part is watching the Opening Ceremonies and

seeing the athletes from lesser known countries glow with

child-like enthusiasm as they walk into the Olympic arena.

 

But every four years, I find myself feeling uncomfortable

with what I am seeing and hearing while watching the Games

on television.

 

Because I know the sensationalized aspects of the Olympics

are creating more and more confusion and ignorance among

many young athletes, Trainers, Coaches and Parents worldwide.

 

Believe it or not, I believe that the Olympics are actually

a horrible influence on youth sports.

young athletes 
 

And while watching the Opening Ceremonies last week,

I got a glimpse of exactly why I feel that way.

 

“It’s the Struggle, Not the Triumph”

 

That was the ‘catch phrase’ being repeated by athletes

as they talked into the camera.

 

And while it sounds good, serves as a wonderful ‘TV sound

bite’ and showcases a majestic feel about the Games

themselves, it sends a very disturbing message to young

athletes and all those who participate in the world of

youth sports….

 

Hard Work.

 

Sweat, Blood and Tears.

 

Effort Conquers All.

 

And that all sounds good, doesn’t it?

 

It’s glorifying.

 

It displays the majestic nature of sport.

 

And it’s an absolute lie.

 

Maybe not for elite athletes, but certainly for kids and

teenagers.

 

The danger is in the fact that most Coaches, Trainers

and Parents think and act like their young athletes are

elite – and end up being influenced by statements like

the one I mentioned above.

 

“You have to work harder, Johnny”

 

“If you’re not sore, you’re not working hard enough”

 

“Did you hear what Micheal Phelps said? You’ll never

get to the Olympics if you don’t push yourself”

 

What a crock.

 

With youth sports and young athletes, it really isn’t 

about the struggle.

 

And the destination truly doesn’t matter.

 

It’s about the journey.

 

The path.

 

The process of getting from A – Z.

 

We actually believe that ‘working kids hard’ every day and

beating the living crap out of them without having a

developmental system in place is the answer.

 

And it isn’t.

 

It just isn’t.

 

In fact, it’s the main culprit for why so many kids are

getting hurt.

 

Dropping out of sports.

 

And disengaging from being physical at all.

 

We just don’t understand the process of what it takes to

become elite.

 

And that remains our worst and most damaging error when

it comes to working with young athletes.

 

I hear horror stories everyday about intense training

sessions, over worked young athletes and the general

lack of knowledge that so many Trainers and Coaches have

when it comes to working with this demographic.

 

And the Olympic Games are making that worse as we speak.

 

“It’s not the Destination, It’s the Journey”

 

Words to live by.

 

Are you prepared to find out what you don’t know and

truly become a leader in the realm of youth sports

training?

 

Or are you content to just keep plotting along without

a solid direction or path?

 

I think your young athletes deserve the best.

 

Why don’t you decide to become the best right now?

 

The IYCA Level 1 – Youth Fitness Specialist will give you

the tools you need to become a world-class Athletic

Development Specialist.

 

Maybe it’s time to start your own journey…

 

 

Click Here Now and Find Out What You Don’t Know

 

 

Brian