Changing the culture of competitive youth sports

Learn more about the changing the culture of competitive youth sports, as explained by sports expert and educator John O'Sullivan.
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Changing the culture of competitive youth sports

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What are the, I think, real misconceptions to this idea when we talked about your sports has become more competitive? It’s not the children who are competing any harder. It’s just that the adults. What I like to say is that when I was growing up, sports was about kids competing against other kids and now, almost everywhere I go, what I see is adults competing against other adults through their children. So, they judged themselves and their worth as a parent on or how well that my son or daughter do in school. How well that they do in sports? Does their team win? And so this is the problem is that we’ve taken ownership of the sports away from kids. We don’t let them fail. We don’t let it belong to them because if they fail, that’s a bad reflection on us, and it’s really not. And so I think really as parents what we can do is let the game belong to our kids, focus on enjoyment and through those things, kids develop the intrinsic motivation to do well and play more and play harder because they will naturally play as hard as they can. And usually what we do by trying to push them harder is we make them play worse.

Learn more about the changing the culture of competitive youth sports, as explained by sports expert and educator John O'Sullivan.

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John O'Sullivan

Founder of Changing The Game Project

John O’Sullivan founded the Changing the Game Project in 2012 in order to help parents, coaches and youth sports organizations create a more child-centered sports experience for our young athletes. John is a former collegiate and professional player, and worked for 20 years on the youth, high school and college level as a coach and club Technical Director. He holds a USSF A License, NSCAA Advanced National Diploma, and a US Youth Soccer National License. His blog is now one of the most popular youth sports websites in the US, and he has been a featured presenter at TEDx Bend Oregon, IMG Academy, and this week at the NSCAA Convention. The Changing the Game Project provides live and online parent and coaching education workshops, webinars, and consulting services.

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