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It may seem with sports that it’s all about the big games and the results of the other games in the middle. After all, with sports, it’s about competition. But as with everything in life, it’s important not to forget what happens in between.
The little moments of your parenting, the little moments of your coaching, and the little moments of a child’s experience are profoundly important—precisely because they are the little moments happening to your young athlete. And your young athlete’s success is not based on two or three big episodes of glory.
A person’s character is formed in 10,000 mundane moments of everyday life. And these moments can make a huge difference.
For example, seemingly insignificant poor choices and mistakes may not seem like a big deal, but they can quickly add up to become bigger defining moments. Maybe, for your child, that means countless poor food choices before games, or habitually staying up too late and not getting important rest. Or it could be impatience with a teammate, anger at an official, or little complaints each day about the coach. Each instance by itself can seem unimportant, but as they add up, they can impact one’s mindset and well-being.
The other side of the coin works the same: Seemingly insignificant good choices and habits can add up to become bigger defining moments. Maybe it’s an extra five minutes of hitting practice, a “thank you” to the coach after each practice and game, or an extra 30 minutes of sleep (because your child turned off the video games and did their homework sooner).
Of course, it’s easy to get sucked into the BIG moments and BIG decisions. The team your child plays on, the sports camp your child attends, or the personal coach you hire for your child can be quite impactful. Yet while they are important, these decisions will not truly shape a young athlete any more than all the hundreds and thousands of choices made in-between. It’s the little things. The small moments will set youth athletes up for success.