5 Character-Building Lessons for Youth Athletes

2020 is underway, so why not start with a youth-sports reality check. What should really matter in the games that millions of children and teens play each year? Coaches may feel that winning matters, and parents may feel that college scholarships are key. Yet according to scholarships.com, only about 7% of youth athletes go on to play a varsity college sport, and less than 2% play at Division 1 schools.

With such statistics in mind, what should be important in youth sports? Coaches should teach player development and parents should encourage the same—but in a way that prioritizes character growth.

Here are five factors adults teach, to help foster well-rounded youth athletes.

Respect

Youth athletes can learn to play and cooperate to the best of their ability, no matter how they feel about the authority.

Teamwork

Working with others is a quality children will need over and over later in life. Learning how to resolve issues with teammates and coaches and how to work together with others will take them far.

Work Ethic

Hard work is not something that your child should avoid. A good work ethic will get them noticed in the work place and beyond.

Fun

When kids are little, sports are typically kept fun, to encourage future play. But as children age, they learn that fun is also accompanied by hard work. It’s important to show that the two can coexist.

Persistence

Kids who learn it’s OK to quit become adults who give up easily—and of course, that’s not the way to lead a fulfilled life. Help youth athletes find the drive to keep going.

 


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