Why is Youth Sports Performance so important? What are the benefits to the child?
These are the two million dollar questions that I get asked daily.
When a child gets to feel successful at a young age, they will begin to build confidence. Not only do I get to see this newfound confidence as a coach, but their family and peers see it too. There is a constant reminder in today’s society about: body image, obesity, negative social media presence about school conflicts or shootings, etc. This is when being a positive presence is needed and that what I am here to provide to my young athletes.
Being a strength coach, means that it is my #1 goal, to help an athlete, young or old, to achieve their next goal. This goal might be chasing a scholarship for their sport, challenging them physically and mentally in the gym, building confidence in their lifts, improving their social skills with other kids, or whatever else they need help with. I am there and it is my job to ensure they are successful in their pursuits. Most strength and conditioning coaches want their athletes to strive for greatness in their sports. I want my athletes to not only strive for greatness, but I also want them to gain confidence inside and outside of the gym, build a healthy lifestyle, and learn that they can achieve whatever they put their mind to.
I ask my kiddos to do a little homework outside of the gym. No, no not anything crazy! I ask them little things like: what is your favorite dessert, favorite food, favorite subject in school, what they learned in school that day, favorite movie, etc. The list goes on and on. The reason I ask questions is so they feel like I actually care about what they think. And I genuinely do care. I believe if I can make a connection on a personal level, and not just a training level, that they will surpass their goals. It instills a sense of trust that I can get them where they want to go and where they need to go.
Kids need to be challenged. The whole “participation trophy” is overrated. Kids need to learn how to challenge themselves with friendly competitions, building strength and strong mental game.. knowing that each class will be hard and fun at the same time. Each kiddo that I have worked with over this past year has significantly improved in one way or another. They have learned how to move their body properly, listen to directions, ask questions, teach back movement patterns ,and the veteran kids even teach the new kids my expectations.
These kids need to learn that it is okay not to win every time. They need to learn WHY they didn’t win and how to fix it. They need to learn why it is important to be strong both mentally and physically. They need to learn how to work for something they want and not just have it handed to them. Overall, kiddos are fun! They are learning machines and YES they can drive me a little crazy sometimes but they are make me a better coach
Coach Brailey Freed