What to do when your child is becoming a sports prodigy

Is your child close to becoming a sports prodigy? John O'Sullivan has committed his career to helping parents, coaches, and kids get involved in positive youth organization sports. Get his advice on how to help your child on their journey to becoming a sports prodigy.
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What to do when your child is becoming a sports prodigy

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One of the pitfalls of the success of Tiger Woods or the Williams sisters is that they've become an example and their parents have become an example of kids who start at very very young in a sport and achieve great success. And people focus on them and say hey that's what I want my kid to be. But the fact is for every one of them there are tens of thousands if not hundreds of thousands of kids who walk down the same path and burned out, got injured, , quit and didn't even make it a pro or college or even a High school athlete. So realize that Tiger Woods and Williams sisters are absolutely unique athletes. They had incredible genetics and when you combine that with incredible love of the game, its why they still play the game. I mean here they are years and years later, still playing, still loving the game, still playing the game at a very very high level. Sometimes we ignore the fact that they loved it, they practiced it and they started it when they were 3. So if you think you have that child, I would say go find an independent evaluation, not someone you are paying, not some coach you are paying on a weekly basis to train your child or a private coach telling you oh yes, they're the next greatest since Lie spread. Find an independent evaluation that has no skin in the game and say, "What do you think of my child?" And if that independent person says, "I think there's something there", well then maybe you need to look into a different path. The chances are many millions to one that you have the next Tiger Woods or that you have the next Serena or Venus Williams. So I think actually coming, approaching it from the perspective of, "I'm using sports to teach my kids great values and life skills and if become a lead athlete in the college or a pro, that's just icing on the cake". When I read books like Andre Agassi's book, the first thing he says is, "I hate tennis". I think that's an awful thing. The last thing you wanna do as a parent is the pushing of your child to make them hate a sport which they can be playing for their entire life, but perhaps worse is destroying your relationship with your kids were some sports fantasy or sports dream you have for them, there could be nothing worse than that.

Is your child close to becoming a sports prodigy? John O'Sullivan has committed his career to helping parents, coaches, and kids get involved in positive youth organization sports. Get his advice on how to help your child on their journey to becoming a sports prodigy.

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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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