When was the last time you and your friends grabbed a basketball and played “just for fun” on the neighborhood courts? Or going to the park to kick around the soccer ball with your family and friends? Nowadays, many people who play sports are not just doing so for the fun of the game, rather when we do play sports, we are always keeping score. The competitive nature of North American sports may be putting extra stress on these young athletes and taking away the fun associated with playing sports. However, there are advantages to keeping score and embracing that competitive nature.
Have you ever been or experienced that parent at your son or daughter’s basketball game asking the referee if they need new glasses? Or in the middle of the game, calling your child’s name so you can personally coach them from the sidelines? I’m sure all of you can relate to those examples above and maybe sometimes you were that parent!
I could say that throughout my athletic career, my parents definitely had their moments (even a couple ejections from the crowd, but we won’t talk about those ones); however, my parents were always my number one fans. As a young athlete, looking out into the crowd, I was always so happy to see them there cheering me on. Although there were those long ride homes critiquing and/or praising my performance for that game, I would still say that without my parents, my sporting career would not have been as rewarding.
Mental toughness is defined as the ability for athletes to resist, manage and overcome doubts, worries or circumstances that may prevent the athlete from excelling at a specific task set out to achieve. Acquiring the mental skill, will allow athletes to have a “psychological edge” that enables them to cope better than their opponents with the demands sport places on the athlete. Sport is more than just the physical aspect, but a main factor in sport is being in control of your mind as well as the emotions involved.
Note: This article was originally posted on April 6th, 2017.
Chris Schwarz is the Strength & Conditioning Coach for the Ottawa Senators of the NHL, and has the privilege of working with elite athletes every day. But there is one problem: his players are only hockey players.
Note: This article was originally posted on January 19th, 2017.
Mike Klinzing is Founder and Executive Director of Head Start Basketball (Cleveland, OH). Offering youth basketball camps and skills training for over 20 years, Head Start Basketball uses the game to improve character, develop leadership, and promote sportsmanship.
Parents play arguably the most important role in the development of a young athlete. It is the parents – not coaches or teammates – who spend the most time with a child. And by extension, it is the parents who have the most influence on the child. Make the most of it!
Trust me, I know how hard it is to try to stay healthy during the holidays… but YOU CAN DO IT! Take this time off to be grateful and mindful.