My Advice: Let Your Kids Fail!
Over the last decade, it's not the kids who have changed — it's the parents.
“I don’t know if kids have changed. It’s the parents who have changed,” a senior coach says when asked to compare and contrast his early days of coaching.
“Parents today don’t want to give their child a chance to fail. The first time there’s adversity, the kids don’t know what to do. They are not able to fight through things.
“I think the first year of college is hard. I think everybody has a tough time in the first year. For generations, first year college students have been calling home several times and saying how much they hate it and how things are not working and parents have been letting them vent before explaining that a commitment has been made and it’s going to be followed up on and ‘we’ll see you at your game next week.’
“Now it’s different. Now you’ve got some parents who I think are like, ‘You’re probably right.’”
The coach was also asked about kids spending so much time so early specialising on one sport. “I’ve seen where it’s hurt kids because you have to detox them from playing alone,” said the coach. “They’re working on their individual skills so much that when it comes time to play on a team, there’s a transition to having to play with somebody else who is equally talented or maybe more talented.
“It’s good that it can create a work ethic, but sometimes it’s at the expense of fitting in within a team concept. It’s a harder transition for some.”
“You don’t have to pick one sport when you’re 10 or 12 years old,” says the coach. It's absolutely detrimental to the children's well-being.
He then circled back to his ideas about adversity. “You learn so many things playing different sports. You may play something where you’re not the best player on the team. You learn what it’s like to be in that situation and how to handle it. It can help you down the line.”
The coach also spoke about how social media has changed the landscape. He says his players were already getting saluted on Twitter last season when they checked their phones in the dressing room after coming off the floor from their national championship win.
“There is so much more attention now. The players can see that last (game-winning) shot on their phones. It used to be that you had to go back to campus and put the VHS tape in to see what happened in the game. You had to wait for the newspaper the next day or at least for the news on TV that night. Now, it’s right there. Now they worry about whether they’re looking at how many likes they have. Now they worry about whether they’re looking at how many people are following them." He doesn’t think that it’s a good thing.
“When we go through the recruiting process now, we’re looking for kids who aren’t interested in that. We want to go with low drama kids," says the coach.
The coach believes social media is both positive and negative for today’s youth.
“They have a voice, Fictionally or non fictionally, they have a voice. I like it when social media is used to help them being more socially conscious, helping them to see what’s happening in the world and how they see themselves impacting that world."
“The bad is that half of it is false. What people post on their accounts is not them. It’s not 100 per cent them. You strive to have what people show you on their social media accounts, it sends the wrong message.”
His final parting words: "Let your children fail, fall down, and see them pick themselves up again. You will make them better human beings."
Do you agree?