In our never ending rush to get our kids on the right team, with the right coach, and positioned to win the big games at very young ages, we have lost sight of the real key to helping our kids perform their best: ENJOYMENT! Before we worry about ten thousand hours of practice, extra coaching, and playing on all star teams, we need to take a step back and make sure our young athletes are happy, confident, and take ownership of their sports experience. That is the path toward excellence and success. Putting hard work and success first is just putting the cart before the horse.

Here is a recent commercial filmed by soccer star Lionel Messi, the four time World Player of the Year in soccer. In the video he speaks about growing up in Argentina and moving to Spain to play for Barcelona when he was 13. He may have always been the smallest kid on the field, but no one enjoyed himself more then Messi did. If you watch him play, you will know what I mean.  Enjoy the video, and take his message to heart when it comes to coaching and parenting young athletes. Focus on enjoyment first, and the rest will come in due time.


[testimonial3 author=”John O’Sullivan is the author of Changing the Game: The Parents Guide to Raising Happy, High-Performing Athletes and Giving Youth Sports Back to Our Kids. He is a former collegiate and professional soccer player, and has spent the past two decades as a coach at the youth, high school, and college level. O’Sullivan speaks nationwide to coaches, parents, and young athletes about developing athletic excellence and leadership within positive sporting environments. He resides in Bend, Oregon with his family.” + pic=””][/testimonial3]


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