Most of the players on my son’s team train with very expensive private trainers. He keeps asking for a trainer too, but it’s hard for us to afford. Not that we can’t, just that it would mean sacrificing other things we value more. We have found training videos online, but it’s not the same and they don’t seem to be helping him improve. Should we sacrifice some other things to get him the training? He has lofty goals of playing in college.
Raising Kids to Compete and Win
Ask yourself, if your child needed a tutor to do well in school, would you get him one?
If you genuinely think your kid has the potential to play college sports, then privates are an investment in him.
So, let’s weigh the pros and cons. Private training is the rage and sometimes it's vital for your child to improve. His peers, that are getting privates now, are the same kids he'll be competing against in high school and for college team spots. Developing your kid’s athletic ability can pay off in a few ways. It may get him into an even more elite college (which is nearly impossible), plus some athletic scholarship money may even be available to him.
On the downside, paying for privates is expensive and I question how important they are before high school. Before you spend the money, try educating yourself on training and work with your son on your own. Another idea is to get a skilled high school player to train with him. That's a much less expensive way to go and probably just as effective for your son. When your child gets to high school, then you have to bite the bullet and level the field. And by then, you'll know if your son still has the desire and the potential.
Peak Performance Coach
It can feel like you are falling behind others if you aren’t getting the extra sessions; at the same time, if your family doesn’t (or can’t) prioritize spending on these activities, here are a few suggestions which can help you get creative and not have to spend so much.
First of all, he could go to the trainer once with several friends. Trainers will charge less if there is more than one athlete doing the workout, so you can split the cost.
Second, tell your son to pay attention to how the workout is run and after it’s over, write it down either on a piece of paper or into his phone. (It’s like playing the modern-day version of the memory game!) While he won’t want to do the same workout for months, doing it more than once (on his own and/or with a friend) is a great way for him to build discipline, self-reliance and grit and enables the teens to coach and support one another, which is really the best way to learn.
Another alternative, which shouldn’t cost anything extra, is to go to his coach or another coach and ask for a workout directly from them and whether they’d be willing to spend 30 minutes before or after a practice going over it once so that he can do it on his own later. While it is definitely not as appealing to the athlete (i.e., it takes more work, effort and discipline), it is a very good way for him to test his mindset and build his discipline “muscle." If he has a goal to play in college, being a self-starter and being resourceful are going to be essential to be successful at that level.
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