Earlier, this week I was honored to be interviewed by Linda Alberts of the National Alliance for Youth Sports. This is a topic that is extremely important to the overall balance and well being of our children. Today, youth sports are drastically different from years past. As opposed to exposing our children to many types of sports, children are specializing in a singular sport at a younger age. They are playing on multiple teams, both travel and recreational. This can place a great amount of pressure on a child that may be beyond his/her developmental level.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m all about competing and making everyone perform quicker, better and faster!!! To me, that denotes progress and better performance. I always strive to win when I play. In reality, that doesn’t always happen However, we need to remain mindful of instilling the core values of leadership, sportsmanship, teamwork, and mastery of skills that are intrinsic to sport participation. Youth sports are the greatest vehicle to creating confidence and resilience in our children. This type of learning is a life skill that can assist a child in whatever challenging life endeavor they pursue. This is the philosophy I teach here at New Jersey Clinical and Sport Psychology, Ridgewood, NJ.