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Youth Sport Myths Abound

<p style="margin: 0in 0in 10pt;"><span style="font-family: Times New Roman; font-size: 14px;">Every game you go to you will hear people use sport clichés such as “It ain’t over until it is over”. In the same way many assumptions of what youth sport should be have been proliferated across the United States between coaches and coaches, parents and parents, coaches and parents, as well as the media. Which of these assumptions is actually based on fact? </span></p> <p style="margin: 0in 0in 10pt;"><span style="font-family: Times New Roman; font-size: 14px;">Coaches and scouts know how to and should find talented athletes at young ages.</span></p> <p style="margin: 0in 0in 10pt;"><span style="font-family: Times New Roman; font-size: 14px;">The earlier you become an expert the better, you will have the upper hand and improve your chances of making collegiate and professional sport.</span></p> <p style="margin: 0in 0in 10pt;"><span style="font-family: Times New Roman; font-size: 14px;">10 years, 10,000 hours to become an expertise – get them as soon as possible.</span></p> <p style="margin: 0in 0in 10pt;"><span style="font-family: Times New Roman; font-size: 14px;">A champion at age 12 is going to be a champion at age 18 because they know how to win.</span></p> <p style="margin: 0in 0in 10pt;"><span style="font-family: Times New Roman; font-size: 14px;">You have to have a crazy, over involved parent to develop a champion athlete.</span></p> <p style="margin: 0in 0in 10pt;"><span style="font-family: Times New Roman; font-size: 14px;">Kids need to pick a sport and train with dedication to that one sport at an early age.</span></p> <p style="margin: 0in 0in 10pt;"><span style="font-family: Times New Roman; font-size: 14px;">Losing often will destroy a player’s confidence; we need to make sure we protect our children’s self-esteem.</span></p> <p style="margin: 0in 0in 10pt;"><span style="font-family: Times New Roman; font-size: 14px;">These kids are not motivated. You have to stay on them to motivate them.</span></p> <div style="border-bottom: windowtext 1pt solid; border-left: medium none; padding-bottom: 1pt; padding-left: 0in; padding-right: 0in; border-top: medium none; border-right: medium none; padding-top: 0in;"> <p style="padding-bottom: 0in; margin: 0in 0in 10pt; padding-left: 0in; padding-right: 0in; padding-top: 0in;border: medium none;"><span style="font-family: Times New Roman; font-size: 14px;">Youth today only play for themselves, if they play sport at all. They are less interested in team than we were back in the day.</span></p> <p style="margin: 0in 0in 10pt;"><span style="font-family: Times New Roman; font-size: 14px;">Many myths exist about developing athletic talent, motivating youth and getting the most of the youth sport experience. The purpose of this blog is to give you the facts based on science; not on popular opinion and surely not because a sports announcer said it was so! This blog will bust youth sport myths.</span></p> <p style="margin: 0in 0in 10pt;"><span style="font-family: Times New Roman; font-size: 14px;">Every month I will grapple with a tough youth sport issue and shed light on what we know based on research, theory, and best practices. In the end I will provide the best recommendations possible and, at times, leave you with questions to reflect upon. </span></p> <p style="margin: 0in 0in 10pt;"><span style="font-family: Times New Roman; font-size: 14px;">For example, do you know when your youth sport athlete should specialize in one sport and stop participating in other sports? The answer is not as simple as the age of the athlete, but recent thought has been not before ages 14-15 as well meeting several other criteria (don’t worry this will be the focus of a future post).</span></p> <p style="margin: 0in 0in 10pt;"><span style="font-family: Times New Roman; font-size: 14px;">This blog is not about how you develop a youth sport champion. While I will provide strategies for enhancing performance, my focus will be more on how the adults involved in youth sport can keep their involvement in perspective. What does this mean? Coaches and parents have a healthy, age-appropriate philosophy of involvement in sport. </span></p> <p style="margin: 0in 0in 10pt;"><span style="font-family: Times New Roman; font-size: 14px;">So, please come back to this blog as we grapple with some of the toughest youth sport issues and provide answers that you can take back to your local community and share. And, thanks to the National Wrestling Coaches Association for this opportunity. Until the next post – be an informed coach and parent!</span></p> <p style="text-align: left;"><span style="font-family: Times New Roman; font-size: 14px;">Larry Lauer, Ph D</span></p> <p style="text-align: left;"><span style="font-family: Times New Roman; font-size: 14px;">Director of Coaching Education and Development</span></p> <p style="text-align: left;"><span style="font-family: Times New Roman; font-size: 14px;">Institute for the Study of Youth Sports</span></p> <p style="text-align: left;"><span style="font-family: Times New Roman; font-size: 14px;">Michigan State University</span></p> <p style="text-align: left;"><a href="mailto:lauerl@msu.edu">lauerl@msu.edu</a></p> <p style="text-align: left;"><a href="http://www.youthsports.msu.edu/">www.youthsports.msu.edu</a></p> <p style="text-align: left;"><a href="http://www.larry-lauer.com/">www.larry-lauer.com</a></p> <p style="text-align: left;"> </p> </div>

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