To become an accomplished athlete you must posses many attributes such as physical skill, strength, coordination, endurance, and solid coaching. The most successful athletes have all the above including the love for the game. It has been consistently found that it is not money or fan approval that motivates athletes to compete long term. Rather, it is because how they feel about the game when playing; it’s the love of the game and competition that allows them to continue to play through the wins, the losses, injuries, and disappointments.
Children develop this love very early in the careers, in three distinct ways; when an athlete learns the basic skills, enjoys the game with friends/family, and begins to feel comfortable with his/her body and can see how hard work pays off with increased skill and ability. There are also 2 major factors that can sometimes stand in the way of this love; parents, and coaches. Overly competitive parents, as they have been portrayed in the media, can have a profound effect on young athlete’s view of a sport. A parent that takes the fun out of the game with a “win at any cost attitude”, poor sportsmanship, or abusive behavior towards other athletes or referees often embarrasses the young athlete making them not want to compete. Coaches play the biggest role in developing passion for a sport. The influence that a coach has over an athlete is and always has been a powerful one. Many young athletes see their favorite coach as mentor, big brother/sister, role model, and teacher. This relationship must be based on respect and trust for that bond to form. With the right combination of teaching, a positive physical and emotional environment on the field of competition, the love of the game can develop. With youth sports exploding in this country, hundreds of thousands of youth athletes participating in sports year around the big picture can sometimes be lost. It is the mission of Velocity Sports Performance to provide not only sports performance training but also help foster the confidence of young athletes. The goal of the coaches at Velocity Sports Performance is to provide a positive environment that is needed to influence and nurture the charter of our athletes through hard work and training. When all is said and done the ultimate goal of having fun must be remembered. When fun is had, love is sure to follow and that love of the game will last much longer than any skill gained along the way.
By Rich Widener CSCS