Youth Fitness Business Comparisons
You can (and should) take a look at John’s entire article here.
Now, our industry is full of people who seem to enjoy taking shots at their peers. Almost like a sport, they feel somehow empowered and or compelled to lobby opinions at what other people have to say and cloak their oftentimes defaming commentary with “this isn’t personal”.
My ‘retort’ article is not anywhere near a ‘shot’ at John. I was just so intrigued by his thoughts and feelings on the matter, I wanted to test the merits of his conclusions based on what I know about developing young athletes.
And by ‘testing the merits’ I mean to decide for myself if I think his deductions are correct. Not whether he’s right – he believes he is and I respect that wholly.
Below are the enumerated reasons John has outlined as to why adults are more difficult to train. My thoughts are below each point in italics.
1.) Stress – Most adults are faced with greater stressors in life — mostly negative — and don’t know how to deal with them. Youngsters also face a degree of stress (bullying, peer pressure, grades)–however, there is a support grid made up of family members and school faculty. Adults face stress ranging from job security, finances, family, and health that can inhibit their focus when following an exercise program.
At first glance, I don’t disagree with this statement, but am reminded of a conversation I had with Alwyn Cosgrove many years ago regarding the stress young people face.
Alwyn’s point altered my own perspective on coaching due to the rather profound nature of his commentary. To paraphrase, Alwyn simply stated that adults who compare their stress with that of a teenager or child are forgetting an incredibly important factor within the equation – life experience.
Whatever stress a young person is facing, it is the greatest challenge they have ever endured. At this point in their lives, they lack emotional maturity, experiential roadmap (and therefore perspective) and hormonal development in contrast to adults.
The significance or impact a life stressor may have must be held in context to the organism experiencing the stressor in question. On paper, being fired from your job appears to have a much larger impact that losing your first love or being cut from the football team, but as with everything else in life, framework of a situation is king.
And as a 15-year veteran of having worked with 20,000+ young athletes worldwide, I can also add that the supposed support grid that most certainly should be present in every young person’s life, is not always present – at least not in the nurturing, supportive way it should be. More on that within the next few points…
Check back tomorrow for ‘Part 2’
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