(I recently posted Why it sucks to be the parent of a good athlete. We had several helpful responses, we already shared a great one that explained how to keep an athlete motivated, even when they’re not. Here is another good reply from a reader. Thank you Robert Roth for sharing this valuable information with our community.)
Here are the three things your athlete should be focused on right now!
1) What they can control. Which is their attitude, effort and attendance.
2) Development. Have clear concise goals and objectives which leads me to…
3) Those objectives and goals need to be short in nature. You cannot get your kid a scholarship at U8 whatever sport. But you can ensure that they will never get there by making that your objective. Focus yourselves as parents, or coaches on just getting prepared for that next level, whatever that level happens to be. It could be moving from intramural to travel. Or from U8 whatever to U9 and the requisite skills required to compete and dominate at that level. Once your athlete achieves them, develop new goals, write them down, pin them to the mirror and work towards them. Wash, rinse, repeat.
You can’t be too focused in the moment and you can’t be too focused on future goals.
We as parents and coaches need to be pushing properly. We need to insure that the athletes we are involved with have new objectives/goals and provide for them the proper(positive) environment where the kids can take risks and fail, then learn from it, work on it and improve and succeed. It’s tough…you can’t be too myopic or too distant in what and where you’re focused. It’s definitely a balancing act. But what’s important is to be listening. Is your athlete burned out? Are they bored? Not challenged? In over their head? Are they interested in some other sport? etc….