Preparing kids for higher level sports

John O'Sullivan, Founder of Changing The Game Project, guides parents through the challenges of their children moving to upper level sports.
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Preparing kids for higher level sports

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As your kids get older, they’re going to move into higher and higher level of sports. There might be try outs, there might be cuts, there might be extensive travel and certainly bigger commitments. So, I always come back to the fact that if your child loves to do something and they’re the one motivated to do it, then as a parent, you follow their lead. I see a lot of kids moving onto higher level sports who really don’t want to be there. When they ask kids why do you play? Why do you play sports and these studies have been done all over the world. Number one answer is fun. Number two is because they like to learn. Number three is because they like to be with their friends. Number four is because competition is exciting. Now, a lot of us parents think winning is important and kids try to win and they naturally play to win, but for boys who comes in an about number seven of the answers and girls comes in about number ten. So, a lot of times parents think that the purpose of higher level sports is to get on the winning team, but it is not what motivates your kids to show up and play. So, as you’re preparing them, a lot of people only look at - well, how many championships this coach won or how many championships has this club won, but that is really not nearly as important as what kind of role model will this coach and this organization be for my child once they’re done with sports in their lives.

John O'Sullivan, Founder of Changing The Game Project, guides parents through the challenges of their children moving to upper level sports.

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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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