One of the most rewarding things I’ve done in my life, I’m actually currently doing. I’m managing and coaching my 8 year old daughter’s competitive softball team. Now, when I tell people this, a lot of times their first reaction is to say: “You have an 8 year old in competitive softball?” They seem shocked that someone so young is already partaking in competitive sports, travel teams, etc. They fear that the kids will experience burn out, be under too much pressure, and other negatives.
I actually would argue against these fears, as I feel that competitive sports can do a lot for our children, if they are done correctly, and coached/managed correctly.
The last year and a half that I’ve been managing and coaching my daughter’s 8U competitive softball team has been nothing but rewarding and inspiring. To realize that I can have such a positive impact on these girls lives is awesome. Specifically, if I can use the game to help these young girls develop the following skills and beliefs necessary to be successful later in life, then I feel I’ve achieved something great. Skills and beliefs like:
- Self Confidence
- Team Unity
- Overcoming Adversity
- Competitive Spirit
- Inner Drive
- Winning with Humility
- Losing with Grace
- And so many more…….
As a coach, we can have as big an impact on the lives of youth in our community, as parents do. In some cases we may be the defining role model for a young kid. How we interact, how we motivate, how we inspire, and how we coach, can make all the difference in the world. Do we use our position to tear down, berate, win at all costs? Or, do we use our position to encourage, provide positive reinforcement, build confidence, and help succeed?
I choose the latter. I know I’ve been able to be a positive influence in the lives of several girls, not only on my teams, but on those teams that we’ve competed against. And THAT, is why it’s been so rewarding. Our youth are our future, and I’m going to do everything I can to help them find success, and that starts with instilling in them a belief of self worth at an early age.
What are you doing to help build our future? How do you motivate and inspire the youth of your community?