One of the most viral articles about youth sports is titled: I Never Thought It Would End This Way. It’s written by a dad who spent years coaching and watching his daughter play soccer. It’s about watching his daughter’s last soccer game. This quote has always seemed especially important to me:
If all coaches could see into the future, to that very day when a kid puts away the cleats or the hi-tops for the last time and walks away from a game………would they choose to coach individual kids differently than they presently do?
Every kid walks away from their chosen sport someday…….then what?
Effective youth coaching is psychiatry and it is parenting. Each player is unique, and they have specific needs that team sports can bring them.
I spent years coaching soccer. Some would call it a career – 10 years coaching as many as three teams at a time. More often than not, coaching young girls. I’ve coached three-year-olds (if you can call it coaching) all the way up to high school players. I’ve read books about drills, attending conventions, and gotten coaching licenses.
But the simple question presented here is the most important question that every coach and parent needs to ask.
The answers will be different for every family. And there is no one out there you can go talk to and see if your answer is correct. But you need to ask the question:
If you could see into the future, to that very day when your kid puts away the cleats or the hi-tops for the last time and walks away from a game………would you choose to take a different path?