Young Athletes: Is It Winning or Is It Development?

Young Athletes: Is It Winning or Is It Development?

In the U.S.A, we live in a place with many options for sports participation professionally, unlike our neighbors all over the compass to the north, south, east, west and every other partial direction.

Yes, these countries do offer any opportunity to a child to play, but in most places outside of our here, only 1, 2, 3 or maybe 4 sports reach the importance level for them. Globally, Soccer/Football tends to be on the list almost at 100%, and you’ll find Professional Basketball, Baseball, and Professional Hockey played as well.

In recent posts, pictures, and articles I’ve seen these past months, there seems to be a common theme where Jiu-Jitsu practitioners who are enrolling for classes are getting younger and younger.The question now posed is whether or not the parents and instructors will allow the young student to participate at their own pace in their new love, or pull the Results over Development jargon that commonly exists in our country.

AT WHAT AGE SHOULD A YOUTH SPORT PARTICIPANT REALLY HAVE TO MAKE A CHOICE? 12, 13, 14? NEVER?

Should Billy or Susan give up Tennis or Golf because Coach XYZ from Travel Baseball/Softball or whatever suddenly decides that the 11 year olds now need to practice 3 to 4 times a week for 2 hours at a time?

How about a child who has played Violin from an early age and the parent and the Coach now decide that the child must decide whether to play sports or play music, because he misses occasional practices, and/or a game because of some extra practice or a recital/concert?

DO WE ALLOW OUR YOUNGER PLAYERS IN AMERICA TO GO AND LIVE IN ANOTHER PART OF THE COUNTRY IF THE EDUCATION THEY GET IS PROPER?

Let’s examine how Martial Arts and Jiu-Jitsu in particular will be affected in the above matter. If a young athlete comes in and performs brilliantly, will he/she be told to stop his other activities and train extensively? Will this child prodigy of the mat be forced to give up his other passions, so Dad can have what he thinks is the next coming of Cain Velasquez or Rhonda Rousey?

How about that kid getting seen at a tournament, and the instructor asking him to move across country to come and train with better people?

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Eric Simpson