Sports are an integral part of daily life for many people, and unfortunately many parents, athletes, and coaches lack the knowledge and skills necessary to ensure the best outcome for all. That’s partly why I started GOAT Sports Performance: to help where help is needed. Here’s a good example from a situation that I heard just this morning.
Not knowing who I was or what I did for a living, my dental hygienist started talking about her daughter’s 5-6 year old T-ball game last night (I had asked her what her favorite day of the week was and it went from there). Apparently, one player on her daughter’s team is quite selfish, and has no problem in fielding for the entire team (it’s a co-ed team where boys and girls are combined). She told me that for the entire season, whenever the opposing team made a hit, this player leaves his position and chases the ball. It doesn’t matter who should be making the play, he runs over and takes the ball away from his teammate to try and make the play.
You can imagine the frustration in this mom’s voice as she talked about how this one player is a ball hog, doesn’t know his role, and stops the rest of the team from learning and playing. “My daughter had an opportunity to get an out and this boy ran over, took the ball from right in front of her and denied her the out. She was really frustrated on the way home. It’s really aggravating for all of us, because our kids aren’t getting the chance to play!”
So who is at fault here? The players for not communicating? The volunteer coach for continuing to allow this to happen? The parents of this one child for not noticing his selfishness and doing something about it? Who says his parents don’t encourage it? Maybe it’s the other parents who should say something?
Here’s a major problem in this scenario. No one knows what to do about it. The players are just kids learning to play the sport and just want to have fun. The coach is a volunteer who didn’t sign up for this kind of situation, and the parents of the team don’t want to make it an issue with anyone. It’s a messy situation that ends up leaving everyone except one player unhappy. Chances are this team will not stick together, players will lose interest in the sport, and the coach doesn’t volunteer again.
The number one reason kids quit sports is because it is no longer fun. Don’t let that happen to your child or team! If necessary, work with someone to improve communication, establish roles, and foster an inclusive environment. For more specific information on how I can help please look through my website or contact me directly.
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