2 Roadblocks to Success in Youth Sport

By Janis Meredith | Posted 9/23/2019

If your child is struggling in sports, what are the roadblocks getting in their way of being successful? It’s easy to blame their teammates, the coach, the league—placing blame on everyone and everything except where your focus needs to be: on your child. 

I know you don’t like hearing that. I surely didn’t. It was much easier to blame external factors than to take a deeper look at my young athlete and seek to understand how they actually might be standing in the way of their own success. 

If you really want to help your child succeed, try examining these two things that just might be at the root of the problem. 

Your child is focusing on the what, and not on the how. 

Focusing on the what means that you and/or your child are caught up in wins, statistics and results more than the habits or practices that are going to bring those wins, high stats and good results. 

Focusing on the what may seem to be the answer at first, but when you or your child isn’t see progress fast enough, the natural response will be to get discouraged, or even quit. 

Your child neglects the small things. 

The second factor that can hinder your child’s success is not understanding that every single human success has been accomplished little by little. Those “overnight” successes were preceded by lots of hard work, and probably lots of failures. 

It's wrong to conclude that small decisions don’t matter very much. Life is actually a sum total of every small decision made — the good and bad. So when it comes to your child’s success, the small decisions really do matter. Staying after practice a couple of times a week to perfect a skill, getting the right amount of rest, eating healthy, paying attention to what the coach says— the decision to do these things day after day, week after week, month after month and year after year is what adds up to success.

I’ve seen this in my own journey of doing crossfit. I started over a year ago and for months, really wondered if I was making any progress. But a year later, I can now see small improvements – leg strength, endurance, arm strength. All very encouraging for a woman my age. It was the little decisions to keep at it week after week that added up.

Similarly, it’s the little bad decisions day after day, week after week, month after month, that add up to a very large roadblock to success. 

Here’s the truth that your child needs to hear and believe: It’s the things no one sees that bring the results everyone wants. 

Don’t let your child take the easy route and put the blame on everyone else when things don’t go their way. And don’t YOU, as parents, get sucked into the blame game along with them. It will stop your child from having the success that they can achieve when they tap into their full potential.

Janis Meredith is a family life coach who wants to help all parents raise champions. You can find out more at rcfamilies.com.