26. Youth Sport Development – Allistair McCaw
YOUTH DEVELOPMENT: 5 Key Guidelines when it comes to developing a sports kid:
I believe that the single biggest mistake made in kids coaching and the developing of a young athlete is that the fundamentals are not taught well enough and the development process is rushed.
Did you know that 70% of kids give up their sport before the age 13, mostly because of burnout, loss of fun or pressure?
In my opinion, the main reason why this happens is due to parental influence and the excitement, addiction and sometimes ego (the parents) of chasing trophies and accolades at a young age.
So, here are my 5 key guidelines for developing sports kids:
1. Stay the course, no matter how advanced they are. Learn, apply, teach and stick to the fundamentals of the sport. Winning is not the goal.
2. Focus on developing the athlete. Remember that kids under the age of 13 should be spending at least 50% of their time on other athletic skills and games. In other words, let them do other sports and activities.
3. Follow the long term plan and don’t be side tracked by early success. Develop all the necessary skills – do them well.
4. Let them compete, but the goal must still be focused on working on their skills and game. Each match or competition should have goals that are performance and skill driven, NOT result driven. Mistakes and learning from them should be encouraged.
5. Last but not least, find a coach who keeps it fun and understands the development path. A coach who is not results driven, but development driven.
Fun is the goal!