Sporting advice parents wish they had

John O'Sullivan, founder of Changing The Game Project, a youth sports organization gives you the sporting advice that parents wish they had.
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Sporting advice parents wish they had

So, when I was researching and writing my book, Changing the Game, it was really an amazing process because first, I read all the research on parenting and coaching and best practices, and I kept coming across stuff saying, "Why didn't anyone teach me this 10 or 20 years ago. This would have been really helpful to know not only as a coach but when I became a dad." And then the next thing I did was I interviewed parents and what I kept saying to parent is, "What do you wish you knew 10 years ago when you are first starting out with your kids in sports that you know now that your child has done with high school or going on to college?" They kept saying two things. They kept saying, number one, "Boy, this goes by fast. One day, your kids in his first soccer jersey and the short comes down to his knees and the socks come off to his waist, and then next thing you know they are in high school." And they said, "The second thing is I wished I knew 10 years ago what would be important to my kids like I know now because I thought it would be important that they won all these games, so they won these championships, so they won this tournament, but what my kids remember is the hotel. They remember the van ride. They remember hanging out with their friends and they remember the lessons that they were thought by positive role models, positive coaches in their lives, and I wished I had work harder to surround my kids with more positive role models." And the last part, I talked to kids and I said, "What do you wish you could say to your parents that sometimes is really hard?" and the one thing that they said in some form or other, almost every kid was, "I only get one childhood, so let it belong to me." And I think as a parent if we can remember that our kids get a childhood, let it be theirs and that the things that you've think might be important when they're 8 or 9 or 10 are not really that important to your kids and that this is going to go by quick. It's really great guiding principles as a parent of any young athlete.

John O'Sullivan, founder of Changing The Game Project, a youth sports organization gives you the sporting advice that parents wish they had.


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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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