Here is an excerpt directly from The Complete Athlete Development program from Brian Grasso. Not only do I agree with his words here I have seen first hand the validity of these comments.
Many youth sport coaches infract on the notion that the here and now is the most important. Winning today’s game or this weekend’s tournament is critical – even when talking about 10 year old soccer.
In this case, the coaching style is very much reflective of the need to win.
Perfectionist-based tendencies are required during practice and game settings. When they are not received to the level the coach desires, yelling, belittling and negative criticism often purveys.
The same holds true for many parents. Demonstrating quality skill level and achieving success are thought of as the most important factors for participating in youth sports. Some parents offer negative feedback, poor critiques or inappropriate comments during the game. The message is clear to the young athlete – Success now is important. In fact, success is the only way I can avoid the negativity.
Trainers and training centers working with young athletes also fall into this category as well. The sales pitch is often made on the notion that improvements in speed, strength and jumping capacity will be both dramatic and immediate.
There is a stark and very real scientific consequence to each of these actions however. Young athletes, although children, still fall under the same physiological realities as adults. Before I demonstrate the mental fallout that young athletes experience due to the above circumstances however, ask yourself this question –
If my boss responded to me positively only when I was perfect and belittled me when I wasn’t, how motivated would I be to continue in my job? ”