Perception (perceptions): Organization, identifications & interpretations of sensory information. Conscious understanding of something, vision/acuity.

 

As adults we put a lot of pressure on our youth/children to be the very best, to strive for greatness, etc. It comes with a cost & that cost is not money ($). Kids want to be kids, playing sports & having Fun, growing up & making friends, etc. AAU & youth sports has become more of a business that anything else. They showcase our kids for top college coaches, hoping for that elusive college scholarship offer from a Division 1 college/university. It involves a significant of: time, practice, playing, traveling, etc. It wears not just on the parent but the child also. We need to ask ourselves a few tough questions as parents! Is this all in the child’s best interest? Do they truly love the sport they are playing?

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The kids are learning valuable skills such as: teamwork, leadership, independence, growing up, communicating, etc. Do the coaches care about the kids & want what is best for them in the end? The coaches want to win at all cost, don’t let anyone fool you. This in the end leads to: overuse injury, playing a single sport year round, burnout, etc. The kids are not always having Fun. When the Fun goes away for the child – what’s left for them? The big sneaker / athletic companies are driving this market (nike, under armor, etc). They provide funds for the program but you must win to keep getting the money ($) from them. Sounds like a conflict of interest to me – Money ($) vs Fun!!!

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Do you want your child to play on a top High School or AAU Team? Are they training with the best trainer in the area for their specific sport? Are the kids enjoying the training? What is their body language like when: playing, practicing, training for that sport or team? Are your kids on a top team? Are they starting or playing a lot for that specific team? Where is the line (thin line) between Parent & Child – Money ($) vs Fun?

 

In the end – this all comes down to communication / honest conversations with the child. These barriers need to be broken down. It’s time to remove your ‘Parent Ego’ & let the kids just be kids. Remove that added pressure & let them have Fun. Once they are having Fun – reality kicks in. This is not about the parents perception but the child’s, it’s their reality (perception). When the pressure is off them from Mom & Dad or the parent figure – they do not have to live up to such lofty standards. They are free to have Fun!!! It’s about setting them up for success, not failure…

 

 

Great Blog/Article from ex-NBA Player – Keith Van Horn:

Delusional Parent Disorder (DPD) in Youth Sports