What to do when you have a talented child

John O'Sullivan, Founder of Changing The Game Project and former professional athlete, shares advice on what to do if you have a child who is talented in sports and how supporting them can be very simple.
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What to do when you have a talented child

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Sometimes as parents we're put in a situation where maybe we have a child that does very well at a young age, so our natural inclination to look at that and say, "Oh well, they have opportunities that I never had". So let me give them coaching, let me give them the access to things that I didn't. Sometimes we lose sight of the 3 main ingredients of high performance in any achievement activity. These are autonomy, enjoyment and intrinsic motivation. So just because your son or daughter is very fast or very strong or very skillful in something, if they don't enjoy what they're doing, if they don't have ownership over the experience, if its you saying every day, "Get out of bed, practice more, do this, do that, they're gonna quit, they're gonna walk away." They have to enjoy it. They have to be the one driving the bus, you're just the passenger, you're helping them. But if its not their goals they're pursuing, if its yours, they're probably gonna end up walking away from the sport. So if you have that child who is doing very well, really focus on the enjoyment piece, focus on the fact that they are engaging with the sport and they are playing the sport not working the sport because when they play, they'll play better and they're gonna stick with it longer.

John O'Sullivan, Founder of Changing The Game Project and former professional athlete, shares advice on what to do if you have a child who is talented in sports and how supporting them can be very simple.

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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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